Softly refreshing

Sales of soft drinks soared during the recession and are set to keep growing steadily due to the level of innovation happening in the market around functional beverages and energy drinks. Fionnuala Carolan reports


Brand Central

30 May 2022

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From mixers to cordials, sparkling offerings and more, when it comes to soft drinks, there’s an abundance of choice for consumers. And last summer, consumers certainly made the most of the expansive range on offer. The staycation boom caused sales of soft drinks to jump by €7.7 million in the twelve weeks to 8 August 2021, research from Kantar found.

In line with the industry-wide push towards greener products, sustainability remains a major focus in this category and manufacturers are striving to meet consumers’ concerns by making their packaging more environmentally friendly.

According to Bord Bia’s report, the Future of Adult Beverages, globally there is a move to more functional beverages with a strong influence of sustainability and naturalness. Here in Ireland, in the quest for authentic goodness and natural functionality there is growing interest in wild ingredients. Globally functional foods and beverages are projected to grow by 8.5%.

According to a recent Euromonitor report on the performance of soft drinks globally, beverages industry analyst Brian Morgan said carbonates compose 40% of all volume sales of soft drinks worldwide. Still, the global industry overview found that bottled water surpassed carbonates in 2008 to become the leading category in soft drinks by volume terms. According to Morgan, there are still opportunities for growth in added-value water, specifically sports waters. Young people looking for an energy boost often reach for energy drinks over coffee or soda, he said.

ShelfLife looks at the brands you should be stocking for maximum profit in this category.

Drink to your health

Wild About was the winner of the Blas na hEireann Supreme Champion 2021 award

Wild About is an innovative Irish artisan company creating an award-winning range of natural food and drink from native, seasonal and wild ingredients. As the winner of the Blas na hEireann Supreme Champion 2021 Award, the company is responding to the consumer appetite for functional and healthy food and drink products.

Wild About uses simple, sustainable plant-based ingredients with naturally occurring plant compounds, vitamins and minerals to promote health and wellbeing. Nettles are one of our greatest native superfoods, a natural source of essential vitamins, minerals and iron. The company started making a nettle syrup a decade ago, to dilute with sparkling water. It has consistently been its product leader, year-on-year.

Wild About did some R&D, reformulated the recipe, making it low in sugar and stable (ambient), carbonated, pasteurised in a 330ml glass bottle and Sparkling Nettle Drink was born.

Unfortunately, so was Covid and despite the social restrictions with no markets, no events or even promotions, Wild About still managed to produce and sell over 20k units in the domestic market. Driven by this, the company developed a second product Sparkling Fennel Drink, with similar natural, health and wellness benefits. There is no doubt the clear Irish trends, mirrored globally, are heading towards more natural, beneficial, local and sustainable products.

Nettle is very popular in Germany, the world’s fourth biggest beverage market worth US$53,662m so the people at Wild About are excited to see where this story goes.

For more information on Wild About, contact Fiona Falconer. Mobile: 086 81229525,,, Instagram: wild.about, Facebook:

All mixed up

The Club brand unveils plans to launch a new bold and vibrant design

Changes continue to evolve for the better at the number one Irish mixer brand, Club, as the brand unveils plans to launch a new bold and vibrant design. The new design sees the brand move closer to the Club master brand, with the energy from the Club brand mark echoed and built on by illustrations from their past that radiate out in a fun, playful style.

“We are very excited about our new Club Mixers’ design, as it is very important for us to keep such an iconic Irish brand contemporary and relevant to the modern consumer,” said Brian Greer, marketing manager, Britvic Ireland. “Not only has our focus over the years been on delivering a unique and superior taste experience, we want everyone to know we share a purpose of savouring every moment and living life to the full along with Club. We know Irish consumers are eager to buy local brands especially ones that matter more to them. Our new modern Irish design, built on by illustrations of our rich and iconic history, is intended to appeal to a broader, younger audience, focusing on the attributes of heritage, quality, and reliability. We have big growth ambitions over the next five years and this next evolvement of the brand has been designed to transform how we engage with consumers, while emphasising our Irish values through our unique history”.

Rolling out across all pack formats in the coming months, it will be accompanied by a significant marketing campaign including sampling, consumer PR, trade press and point of purchase communication.

Available as 6 x 330ml can pack and 850ml PET for the grocery channel, Club Mixers ensures relevance across many drinking opportunities. Its portfolio offers a wide range of flavours, best enjoyed chilled over ice with a garnish of choice. Club Mixers are the perfect accompaniment to spirits, expertly designed to blend deliciously with gins, vodkas and whiskies.

A little sunshine in every drop

MiWadi has been produced in Dublin for the past 94 years

MiWadi is a truly iconic Irish brand and continues to grow from strength to strength in the marketplace. From humble beginnings in 1927 MiWadi has been a fruity and flavoursome part of childhood in Ireland for 94 years and has always remained relevant to Irish families with a wide range of flavours in its Regular, No Added Sugar, 0% Sugar and Drops ranges. MiWadi is still produced in Dublin to this day and is a proud member of Love Irish Food.

Every bottle of MiWadi 0% Sugar range is now fortified with Vitamin D which supports your family’s immune system.Vitamin D is very important in our diet to help support your family’s general health, growth and development but it can be difficult to achieve the recommended daily intake of 5 µg. It has been reported that Vitamin D deficiency is very prevalent in Ireland*.

MiWadi makes the water that you need to drink each day extra delicious and refreshing, its 0% sugar range contains no more than five calories per glass and is available in four fruity flavours: Orange, Apple & Pear, Apple Berry and Blackcurrant.

MiWadi continues to grow year on year maintaining its number one position in the Squash Category**.

*(Source: Department of Health Article Reporting on Vitamin D Deficiency in Ireland, April 2020)

**(Source: Nielsen Value Share MAT Total Squash Category November 2021)

(Vitamin D contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and maintenance of normal bones and teeth)

Create a cordial welcome!

Cordials can be used to create mocktails and cocktails

Made in Ireland from organic citrus fruit and Irish soft fruit, the award-winning Natural Cordials are the perfect way to celebrate the summer and welcome family and visitors back.  Dilute with still or sparking water to make delicious drinks and if you are feeling creative, use them in mocktails and cocktails.  See the website for recipes that can be followed or adapted and serve with your own unique flair.

Going Deep

Deep RiverRock, owned by parent company Coca-Cola HBC, is launching its very own juicy vitamin boost drink, Deep RiverRock Vital. Deep RiverRock Vital serves to give consumers a refreshing new vitamin enhanced water and juice drink packed full of deliciousness to support the mind and body, giving you the boost, you need on the go. The juicy vitamin boost contains important vitamins and minerals that support mental performance, cognitive function and for energy boost throughout the day.

The three flavours are Prickly Pear & Redcurrants with Ginseng, Vitamins + Zinc, Pink Grapefruit with Green Coffee, Vitamins plus Zinc and Mango & Passionfruit with Guarana & Moringa, Vitamins plus Zinc.

All three flavours contain Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic acid, Vitamin E and Zinc and Deep RiverRock Vital targets 100% of nutrient reference value of each bottle of 450ml and all for just 36 calories per bottle!

Coca-Cola HBC brands marketing manager Shane McQuaid says: “Whether you’re juggling too much and need to give your brain power some TLC, want to recharge your energy levels or fancy clearing some cobwebs, Deep RiverRock Vital is the juicy vitamin boost full of flavour that will support your mind and body. We’re delighted to be adding Deep RiverRock Vital to our portfolio of drinks and are excited for consumers to try it for themselves!”

Deep RiverRock Vital is available across the Island of Ireland in singular bottles of 450ml, which are all 100% recyclable and 100% recycled bottles. Deep RiverRock Vital will retail at €2.00 in ROI and £1.50 in NI per 450ml bottle. Deep RiverRock Vital will be supported by a strong 360 marketing campaign investment across out-of-home (OOH), digital and media, sampling, social media advertising, and influencer activity. On shelves now, skip to the vital stuff and grab a Deep RiverRock Vital for a juicy vitamin boost!

For more information, visit Instagram: @deep_riverrock Facebook: @DeepRiverRock

Demand for zero sugar

Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland is proud to announce its return of #WhatTheFanta campaign, bringing more mystery and excitement to drink’s coolers across the country in 2022. #WhatTheFanta is delivering on consumer demand for zero sugar variants and flavour innovation whilst bringing some fun and personality to the soft drink flavours category.

Building on the success of the #WhatTheFanta mystery blue flavours in 2021, Fanta is back with a bang and in 2022 and this year, pink is the new blue! The three new bright pink mystery flavours will be available in 500ml and 1.75l packs with new, exciting labels to indicate the product is one of three mystery flavours. Consumers are being tasked to guess the three zero sugar flavours, having the opportunity to win exciting instant prizes and be in with a chance of winning holiday vouchers. To solve the riddle, shoppers are invited to scan the QR codes on-pack, submit their guess and play interactive games through the new Coca-Cola App.

Fanta point-of-sale (POS) materials will create theatre in-store and online, challenging shoppers and brand fans to get involved with the campaign and sample the three mystery flavours. The campaign will launch this April in Ireland and Northern Ireland and will run on TV, digital, OOH and on social channels.

“We are delighted to announce the return of the #WhatTheFanta campaign,” says Andrea Whyte, marketing director of Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland. “In the summer of 2021, the #WhatTheFanta mystery packs contributed 34% to Fanta’s incremental total brand growth of €2.5 million*. The latest #WhatTheFanta variants are sure to capture consumers’ attention, with its standout pink liquid and playful campaign sparking curiosity with the target audience.”

*(Source: Nielsen May-Sept 2021)

Give your summer wiiings!

Red Bull Apricot-Strawberry is a must-have energy drink this summer

Here to refresh your senses and give wiiings to your action-packed summer is the brand new unique Red Bull Summer Edition Apricot-Strawberry.

Inspired by long sunny days and warm summer sun, this latest fruity number will join a line up on shelves of popular Red Bull Editions including Cactus Fruit, Watermelon, Coconut Berry and Tropical.

With all the functional benefits of Red Bull Energy Drink, Red Bull Apricot-Strawberry gives a delicious flavour burst of juicy strawberry that blooms into fruity apricot with a hint of peach.

The perfect base to a summer mocktail, an Instgrammable summer bbq accompaniment or to give you wiiings for those long days hiking or exploring the outdoors, Red Bull Apricot-Strawberry is your must have energy drink this summer.

Available for a limited time from May 2022 in 250ml cans, the matte-orange packaging will stand out amongst the rainbow of editions in the Red Bull product line.

Visit for more inspiring content and follow @RedBullIre on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest action and events.

Shopper Intelligence: Carbonates and energy/sports drinks segments much more impulsive

Most soft drinks categories may sit on the same aisle in grocery stores but in reality they play different roles for retailers due to how shoppers plan them and shop them in-store. Squash/cordial and bottled water are all very pre-planned categories, while carbonates and energy/sports are far more impulsive and shoppers are more likely to need reminders/disruption in-store. Chilled fruit juice is an outlier as it is a very ‘engaged’ category in-store – shoppers will spend time in this category and can be tempted to spend more/trade-up.





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