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Ed Binsted (BBI president), Peter Cooney (general manager, Tipperary Water Coolers), Siobhan Costello (Finches brand manager) and Wyllie Woodburn (BBI national chairman) at the British Bottlers Institute awards
Ed Binsted (BBI president), Peter Cooney (general manager, Tipperary Water Coolers), Siobhan Costello (Finches brand manager) and Wyllie Woodburn (BBI national chairman) at the British Bottlers Institute awards

The soft drinks market is an extremely lucrative one throughout the Christmas period as consumers buy in bulk and stock up on party favourites


Brand Central

18 November 2011

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soft drinksThe positive news to start the party season is that the mixers category is currently witnessing growth in value of 6% on the MAT (Source: Total Scantrack Value Sales to 4 Sept 2011). This is said to be due in some part to the growth of in-home drinking. This is set to continue this Chistmas as people will choose to celebrate at home to keep costs down. Retailers should stock recognised and trusted brands in order to maximize sales.

Enter the Christmas spirit at 7UP Winter Wonderland

7Up7UP has announced sponsorship of 7UP Winter Wonderland, Ireland’s newest, biggest and most dazzling winter park. With no admission fee, 7UP Winter Wonderland, set in The Royal Hospital Kilmainham Dublin, will offer the best Christmas day-out in Ireland, and will be the first event of its kind and scale in the country. This extensive festive showcase will run for four weeks, with free onsite entertainment, Ireland’s largest ice rink, Christmas markets, free visits to Santa Claus, and a range of exciting winter attractions for all ages.

To support this initiative, 7UP will be implementing in-store promotions in the run up to Christmas where consumers will have the chance to win some fantastic prizes, including the chance to win tickets to a VIP New Year’s event, as well as free passes to some of the main event attractions.

Some of the spectacular 7UP Winter Wonderland features include Mission Space, a brand new ride, never before seen in Ireland or the UK, that will have passengers soaring 80m high on the Dublin skyline, totally dwarfing some of the city’s tallest buildings, like the 60m high Liberty Hall.

For more information on 7UP Winter Wonderland visit

PepsiPepsi offers great value this Christmas

Pepsi continues to offer consumers great value all year round and Christmas time is no different. Ireland’s fastest growing cola brand, will be offering great value across the full range, including 2ltr, 330ml multipack can ranges and three x 1.5ltr packs this November and December.  The Pepsi Max 440ml €1 can will also offer the consumer extra savings this Christmas season.  These offers are sure to drive sales and margin on these ranges in all stores over the festive season.

Pepsi is the fastest growing Cola in the market*, significantly outperforming total market growth of 4.8%. Pepsi Max has a market share of 8.9% in value and 10.5% in volume (source: Nielsen Scantrack), the growth is fuelled by an increase in penetration from 17% of the households purchasing to 22.3% (*source: Kantar Worldpanel).

AppletiserFestive indulgence without the guilt!

Whether entertaining friends or visiting family a bottle of Appletiser is the perfect way to celebrate in style. Only the best ingredients are used to create the taste of this refreshing soft drink making it a great guilt free alternative to alcohol and 100% pure for kids to enjoy too.

Bubbling with personality, there is no other sparkling juice on the market with the purity and premium presentation of Appletiser. It is the ideal alternative to alcohol for the Christmas season. Not only does it look stylish on the dining table but it is good for you.

One of your five a day, Appletiser is preservative free; colourant free and additive free. Its colour is natural and it is 100% juice with light carbonation. The sugar in Appletiser is natural and comes only from the apples making it low GI.

Appletiser has won International Taste Awards from chefs and sommeliers at the International Taste & Quality Institute (ITQI) and is a perfect accompaniment with food as apple naturally clears the pallet. Appeltiser is available in Tesco, Superquinn and Dunnes and comes in various pack formats: 275ml glass bottle, 330ml can and 750ml glass bottle.

The Gleeson Group wins gold at The BBI Awards

The annual British Bottlers Institute awards took place at a gala dinner in Vintners’ Hall in London where Tipperary Water and Finches Orange won best in category.

This highly prestigious BBI Competition for waters and soft drinks has been running since 1961. The BBI Gold Medal is awarded based on blind tastings and the panel consisted of seven judges. In the ‘Natural Mineral Water Blind Tasting Class’ they awarded Tipperary Water three gold medals, class A for its still water, class B for its sparkling water and class E for its Tipperary Flavoured Water-Peach. Commenting on the award, Marie Cooney, director said: “We are proud in our 25th anniversary year to accept three more gold medals and we will continue to be active in producing a quality natural product at our source in Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary.”

Ed Binsted, president BBI states: “This year we had water from the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Belgium, Kenya, and Scandinavia. As in previous years no one seems to be able to get near you guys. I hope over the hubbub, you heard the MC say that your company has now won more medals than any other entrant since we began running the competitions, a truly remarkable feat on your part.”

Finches Sparkling Orange was awarded its first gold medal at this year’s event.

BoostGive your sales a Boost

Boost is the perfect party pick me up choice, not only does it offer great taste, great value and great performance, its also presents retailers with a great opportunity to unlock new revenue with its attractive cash margins.

Boost’s 1 litre PET format is available in Regular Energy, Sugar Free and Energy Cola. It’s an attractive option for the Christmas party season, as not only does it offer great value, it has the re-sealable advantage, so it’s perfect for sharing or for mixing larger drinks like Christmas punch or cocktails. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a refreshing and energising soft drink.

Boost’s Sugar Free variant is also perfect for anyone looking for an energising drink or mixer but without the associated calories and a great option for those calorie conscious consumers who don’t want to pile on the pounds over the festive period.
Simon Gray, managing director, Boost Drinks, says that post recession, consumers are continuing to seek out value alternatives to premium brands, as well as showing a preference for longer drinks and larger bottle formats, which represent greater value for money.

Gray offers advice for retailers wanting to increase sales over the Christmas period. “Getting the right point of sale in place plays a major role in directing and educating consumers. To get the best return on their space, retailers should be stocking established brands like Boost.”

Get into the spirit with Club Mixers this Christmas!

Club Mixers is a key branded player within the mixers category, with a long history in the Irish market. Having recently been relaunched, the new 850ml Club Mixers range has been redesigned to refresh the brand, dial up its hugely important heritage cues and its effervescence. The new sized bottle provides a perfect size for the fridge for consumers. Importantly they also offer great value for consumers as they are priced at an attractive RSP with lots of great promotions taking place in stores throughout the country over the festive period – a key selling period in the calendar for the mixers category.

As part of the re-launch, Slim Tonic has also been introduced to the Club Mixers range, which will compliment the existing Soda Water, Tonic Water, Ginger Ale and White Lemonade flavours. This is in response to consumer demands for more low-cal variants within this category.

The mixers category is currently witnessing growth in value of 6% on the MAT (Source: Total Scantrack Value Sales to 4 Sept 2011), due in some part to the growth of in home spirit and drinking consumption.

Also available in pub formats – in 113ml and 220ml ‘pub-sized’ glass bottles – whether you are entertaining at home or going out this Christmas, Club Mixers has a perfect offering for you.

Shloer has launched new Berry Punch as a new limited edition flavour

Shloer has launched new Berry Punch as a new limited edition flavour

Shloer launches seasonal Berry Punch Limited Edition

Shloer, Ireland’s number one adult soft drink brand*, is continuing to invest and drive the category and brand through innovation with the launch of a new seasonal limited edition flavour – Shloer Berry Punch – which is set to put some sparkle into this year’s Christmas festivities.

With hints of blackberry being combined with grape juices, the new line is available during autumn and winter and is being introduced following the success of Shloer’s Summer Fruit Punch limited edition launched in May.

Amanda Grabham, head of brand marketing Shloer, says:  “Shloer Berry Punch will appeal to consumers looking for a drink with a little extra sparkle as we head into autumn and the festive season. It’s a great alternative to alcohol and an appealing drink in its own right, and served over ice with autumnal fruits such as slices of pear and blackberries it offers a sparkling, fruity drink perfect for sharing.”

Shloer will be driving awareness and sales of the Berry Punch Limited Edition through a mix of consumer PR; digital activity on Facebook and the Shloer website (; and an e-newsletter being sent to the brand’s database of 33,000 consumers.

During the pre-Christmas period the entire Shloer range will be supported with a wide range of tailormade activity ranging from promotional stock offers in the cash & carry/wholesale sector; multi-buy promotions for symbol group retail clubs; through to added value consumer promotions. Independent retailers can also obtain free point-of-sale items from the Shloer POS Hotline 0800 917 3450.

Available in 75cl glass bottles – Shloer Berry Punch has the same recommended price as  the other six variants in the regular Shloer range – White Grape, Red Grape, Rosé, White Grape Raspberry & Cranberry, White Grape & Elderflower and White Grape & Apple.

* Source: Kantar Worldpanel Republic of Ireland, Adult Soft Drinks MAT 20.3.11  

Vimto offers value for Christmas

Vimto cordial is growing at 7.4% YOY* showing it is a versatile product to stock as it can go further than pre-mixed RTDs and offers families who are looking for ways of saving this Christmas a cost-effective solution.  As more adults are socialising at home, the cordial can also be a great tasting addition to a punch or cocktails for parties. The Fizzy Original Vimto or Cherry Vimto range can also offer something a bit fun and different as a mixer.

According to Emma Hunt, senior brand manager: “Over the last year we’ve heavily invested in Vimto, resulting in a brand value of £55.9m, growing at a rate of 5.7% YOY*.” 

Despite only being launched last year, Cherry Vimto already has a brand value of £4.2m*. The Carbonates range alone is delivering 49%** of incremental sales, showing that shoppers are adding it to their usual purchases.”

The Cherry Vimto range includes a 2L bottle of Fizzy and a 725ml bottle of Cordial which both provide good solutions for the Christmas season.

*Nielsen Total Coverage MAT 3.9.11
**Kantar Worldpanel, MAT 4.9.11

Irn-BruUnwrap extra profits this Christmas with A.G. Barr

A.G. Barr is supporting its ‘must stock’ brands over the festive season with a range of initiatives that will deliver festive fun, value and choice for shoppers – and major profit opportunities for grocery retailers in Ireland.   

“Christmas presents a massive sales opportunity in soft drinks,” says A.G. Barr’s head of marketing Adrian Troy. “Our advice to retailers is clear: Stock the leading brands your customers want, merchandise them effectively and you’ll enjoy a bumper Christmas.

Irn-Bru’s iconic Snowman imagery will feature on 2 litre and 330ml packs over Christmas.

Rubicon“The familiar Snowman image draws attention to the fixture and really gives shoppers that festive feeling,” says Troy.  “It is sure to be a firm favourite once again with consumers looking to bring a little extra Christmas cheer into their homes.”

A.G. Barr is supporting Irn-Bru in Northern Ireland with its official sponsorship of the Irish League Cup. The £140,000 partnership will last for two years with the competition named the Irn-Bru League Cup.

A.G. Barr is also advising retailers to stock up on Rubicon this Christmas. Christmas is one of Rubicon’s largest sales peaks with consumers trading up to enjoy brands that offer excellent flavour choices and value for money.

Rubicon exotic juices are a range of juices made from only the best quality hand-picked fruit. With an extensive range from Mango to Pomegranate the brand will help bring incremental sales to the juice category.

Rubicon has boosted brand awareness this year with a new product launch. It launched Rubicon Mango Light, introducing new consumers to the brand.

A number of new products have been added to the range this year including Rockstar Pink, the first energy drink to be targeted specifically at women. Containing just 10 calories and served in a 355ml can, it is proving popular with women seeking an energy boost without the associated high sugar content.

Vithit goes Lean and Green

Vithit, the 100% Irish owned brand, has just launched its new low calorie vitamin drink ‘Lean and Green’.

Fresh from its success at the television show ‘The Apprentice’ the Irish company has released its new flavour of apple and elderflower designed to ‘help achieve dieting goals’.

With ingredients like L-carnitine, Mate tea and 100% RDA of seven vitamins, this is one flavour that is sure to impress the tastebuds. Vithit is fast becoming the drink of choice among customers looking for a healthy alternative to sugar drinks full of calories. Sales of Vithit are up over 65% in 2011. Gary Lavin, managing director of Vitz drinks ltd, based in Shankill in Dublin says: “Our success is partly due to a change in attitude towards health, we are seeing more and more people who are counting calories, and want a healthy alternative. Our association with The Apprentice has just brought that message to a larger audience”. Vithit is available from the Gleeson group – 01 6269787.



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