Thirst for success
As the summer season begins to heat up, the soft drinks market is one that won’t be losing its fizz anytime soon
15 April 2009
The greatest change in the soft drinks market in recent years has unquestionably been the increasing popularity of healthy options such as smoothies, juices and bottled water.
In Western Europe alone, consumers have increasingly turned to juices, smoothies and nectars in their hunt for a more convenient health kick, pushing sales of the products up by 1.6% to €23 billion in 2007, according to market analyst Zenith International.
This hasn’t lead to the demise of the carbonates industry however. Although mature, the carbonates market still provides retailers with well-known brands that continually perform well. For example, Coca-Cola was voted by retailers as ShelfLife’s number one c-store product of the year 2008.
Beverage researcher Canadean confirmed that globally, "the often criticised carbonated drink will continue to undergo sales growth despite wider economic worries…The carbonate category remains the giant of the global soft drinks sector; almost four in every 10 litres of soft drinks consumed around the world is a carbonated soft drink," stated the analyst.
Energy drinks are another important segment of the market. Canadean examined the European soft drinks market late last year and found that while growth of juices and waters had slowed, the outlook was brightened by the energy drink category, which remains "very firmly in the growth stage of its lifecycle", with sales jumping 15% during the quarter. The advertising of such drinks often focuses on the benefits these can deliver to athletes (and those who would like to become more athletic) in terms of delivering a ‘peak performance’.
Health and wellness
Food industry research analyst Christopher Shanahan has said that focusing on health benefits such as these can be a clever move in a recession, when people increasingly feel stressed and want to improve their wellness. "Those that fortify their products with health and wellness usually have done well amongst consumers," said Shanahan.
Research by market analyst Zenith International, also suggests that segment demand for nutraceutical drinks rose by 9% in 2008, with the momentum expected to remain stable. Consumption of nutraceutical beverages is expected to reach 5,600 million litres by 2013 from 3,700 million litres in 2008, the findings predicted.
Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNDP) also emphasizes the importance of soft drinks adopting a health-centered stance. This shows that the top claims used on beverages over the past four years reveal a distinct shift in focus towards drinks with no additives or preservatives.
‘No additives/preservatives’ has been the top claim made on new drinks launched in Europe for two consecutive years. In 2007, the market researcher tracked 925 new beverages that made this claim, and a search on 2008 has brought in 920 products. This is a major leap from the 471 additive and preservative-free products launched in 2006, and the 377 new products of 2005; when the claim was only the third most frequent beverage label claim.
Often energy drink campaigns will be endorsed by a popular sportsperson, which is a clever way of attracting sports fans and expanding the product’s consumer base. In fact, four energy drinks featured in ShelfLife’s top 10 best c-store marketing campaign winners 2008.
Findings released last year by analyst, Business Insights, also confirmed that both the energy and sports drink segments have shown strong growth in recent years, driven by demand for natural ingredients that also provide "sustainable, longer lasting energy." The report predicted 5% growth in the sports and energy drink sector up to 2011 as result of changing demand amongst consumers.
Bottled water is also a winner in health stakes. However, in recent years, it has come under increasing pressure over the environmental consequences of drinking bottled over tap water. However, ethical initiatives such as building wells in developing countries have helped to offset these concerns. Irish tap water has also suffered several health scares in recent years, which fuelled a greater consumption of bottled water.
New flavoured water varieties are also creating growth and helping to make bottled water more exciting for consumers as a taste experience. Market analyst Mintel has found though that penetration rates for both bottled water and fruit juice were very high, suggesting that the emphasis in the sector may have moved from targeting new customers, to increasing consumption opportunities among existing users.
The celebrity choice
Evian is the number one natural mineral water in the world. Evian is purified through a natural filtration process that spans over 15 years, deep within the French Alps. Many people say "you are what you eat", but Evian believes what you drink is just as important.
Evian natural mineral water announced a new sponsorship for 2009 of the ‘ Health and Beauty ‘ segment on TV3’s successful show Xposé. The launch kick-started with a strong focus on the Evian ‘Detox‘ campaign and two lucky winners won a trip to the Royal Evian Resort in Evian Les Bains last February. Kerry O Sullivan of Danone Waters said "we are delighted to be sponsoring the ‘Health and Beauty’ segment of Xposé for 2009.
Many of the world’s most well known celebrities credit their looks to drinking plenty of water and as Xposé is one of Ireland’s key programmes for all things celebrity, fashion and beauty this sponsorship is the perfect fit." Over the past year celebrities such as Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Paris Hilton and Ashley Olsen have all been photographed drinking Evian water with Cameron Diaz saying that she only washes her face in Evian.
Evian is available in many different formats such as 50cl, 75cl and 1.5L so there is a bottle size to suit every consumer and every occasion.
Hydration for body and mind
Volvic is the number two brand in the bottled water category. Volvic natural mineral water has the unique benefit of being the only natural mineral water to be filtered through layers of volcanic rock. This April sees the launch of the first Volvic 14 Day Challenge.
Volvic’s consumer campaign advises people that in order to fill their bodies with "deep volcanic hydration", simply drinking 1.5L of Volvic every day for 14 days to hydrate their body and mind will help them function better. The Volvic Touch of Fruit range is available in three flavours; Lemon & Lime, Strawberry and Orange & Peach.
Hints of fruit
Ballygowan has developed a new offering for consumers who find it difficult to get through their recommended eight glasses (around two litres) of water each day. The brand has made this goal easier for consumers with its new Hint of Fruit range, with three flavours from which to choose.
These include Orange & Mango, Cranberry & Lime, and Strawberry. Ballygowan states Hint of Fruit is fast becoming the drink of choice for discerning ladies who enjoy a healthy lifestyle. And what’s even better, Hint of Fruit has no added sugar so it’s low in calories.
The three flavours are now available nationwide at €1.49 in a convenient 500ml bottle. Ballygowan adds that Hint of Fruit will be a refreshing accompaniment to what will hopefully be a sunshine filled summer.
In Tipp top condition
At the beginning of 2009, five time gold medal winning Tipperary natural mineral water launched the "My bottle" campaign, highlighting the huge range that offers bottle size and formats for all consumers and occasions.
Earlier this year, Tipperary Water launched the new flip top cap for the 500ml Tipp Active range. The bottle top is not only innovative but more environmentally friendly. The Tipp Active 500ml range will also be expanded this year with a number of pack developments to be launched in early summer.
Launched in 2003 and available in standard 10 packs or singles, Tipperary Kidz continues to lead the way in the kid’s water category, investing in TV advertising and a new innovative bottle design in 2009. With the launch of the 15 for 10 pack earlier this year, Tipperary believes Tipperary Kidz will continue to the water of choice for Ireland’s kids.
Crystal clear sales
Naturally filtered for over 50 years, through 100 metres of sandstone, Crystal Springs is the market leader in the 5L water category. This summer, manufacturers state Crystal Springs will continue to offer consumers real value for money, as it always has done.
The 5L bottle is ideal for busy households and the Crystal Springs twin-pack flashed at €4.00 has proved hugely popular. Coming into the summer months, 5L water sales continue to grow. Crystal Springs is available in single 5L bottles, 5L twin-packs and single 10L packs.
Vittel natural mineral water, one of the leading global bottled water brands, has been bottled at its source in Vittel, a town in the heart of the Vosges region of France since 1864. Sold in over 80 countries, Vittel comes from a spa that is highly regarded for its health giving properties. With a unique balance of essential minerals including calcium and magnesium, Vittel offers a revitalising and refreshing taste, replenishes skin cells and provides optimal hydration.
As a strong premium player in the bottled water category, the Vittel brand aims to appeal more than ever to the discerning consumer wanting a stylish, high quality mineral water brand. Vittel is a still water, available in 500ml and 750ml on the go packs and a 1.5L take home pack. Coca-Cola HBC distributes Vittel in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Purer than you
Deep RiverRock is a high quality, pure Irish water and is bottled from source in Tullynacross, Co Antrim. It contains essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, all naturally occurring within the source. The highest possible national and international quality standards are exceeded in its production.
Deep RiverRock’s ‘Purer than you’ slogan reflects the youthful and edgy image associated with the brand. Its popularity is attributable to the ‘pure not pious’ brand messaging meaning that no matter what our lifestyle choices Deep RiverRock can be enjoyed by us all. It is available in a range of single and multi-pack sizes in still and sparkling in both plain and flavoured variants.
As a brand leader in Ireland, Deep RiverRock has experienced continued share growth in the convenience market. The latest AC Nielsen data shows volume share growth from 14.3% to 15.2% and value share growth from 15.5% to 16.1% year on year. (ACNielsen MAT 8 We22 Feb09).
The brand is continuously innovating and meeting consumer occasions with new product development. The 500ml format is an iconic pack for immediate consumption, whilst the brand’s 750ml sports cap pack is going from strength to strength and is a key driver of the water category in Ireland. An ideal pack for consumers with healthy active lifestyles, it has a better rate of sale in units than any other sports cap water in Ireland.
Duffy supports Diet Coke
2008 was another successful year for Diet Coke. The iconic lights brand showed positive share growth of the carbonated soft drinks (CSD) category. Contributing to this was the execution of various campaigns throughout the year including, ‘Design a can’, ‘Win a one carat diamond with Diet Coke’, alongside creative advertising.
This year Diet Coke is excited to announce the highly anticipated Diet Coke campaign featuring singing superstar and Grammy award winner, Duffy. The ad stars Duffy singing an exclusive track for Diet Coke; a remake of the soul classic ‘I’ve got to be me’, a song made famous by Sammy Davis Jnr in 1968. The song’s lyrics reflect the new Diet Coke campaign, which celebrates women’s right to express their individuality and take control. Duffy will also feature in a highly impactful outdoor and press campaign for Diet Coke throughout the year.
Burn, baby, burn
Burn has made a huge impression in the Irish energy drink sector, says the brand, since it was launched into grocery in January 2008. Through a high impact ATL campaign underway, Burn has also been creating more visibility for itself. A stylish and energetic Burn TV ad first hit screens on 9 Febuary and will continue on air through to the end of April.
The campaign is supported by outdoor and transport advertising, focused on the taste and intense energy kick delivered by Burn. It also demonstrates to the trade the dedication and level of investment behind the brand.
This latest drive of TV ads can only build on an already strong awareness score, says the company. Its research shows 77% of 16 to 29 year old males are aware of Burn. Burn is also reaching out to its target audiences by owning two radio sponsorships on Dublin’s SPIN 103.8FM and Cork’s Red FM, which are currently on air. Combining this with some recent high profile ambient media activity in colleges around the country and sponsorship of several high profile nightspots, Burn is now a force to be reckoned with, claim its makers.
Boosting energy levels
Since launching in August 2001, Boost drinks have proved to be highly successful in Ireland. Recently, Boost has been re-branded using the high impact colours black and blue. The new bottle will boost sales and continue to offer a great profit margin in an increasingly growing and competitive sector. As the demand for functional energy drinks accelerates, Boost is a must have for convenience retailers.
Boost is available in 500ml and 1L resealable silver PET bottles, and 250ml cans, making it a unique proposition. It has added energy releasing B vitamins, caffeine and amino acids, such as taurine, Boost drinks work alongside the existing natural metabolites found in the human body to provide an extra boost of energy when needed most.
Finches flying off shelves
Finches will continue to offer retailers and consumers value this summer with the 2L twin pack flashed at €3.00. The pack offers customers a tasty premium product, at a very competitive price. The Finches 2L twin pack is always popular and looks great on-shelf, claims the brand. Packs are available in Orange, Orange Light and Rock Shandy.
Finches 1.5L mixers offer impressive value for consumers. Finches is a half litre larger than other mixers available, but at a low price. Finches mixers are ideal for refreshing summer time cocktails and are available in Tonic, Tonic Light, Soda Water, Ginger Ale and White Lemonade.
The continued success of Finches 500ml highlights consumer desire for quality, Irish products. It is available in Orange, Orange Light, Rock Shandy and Lemon, and now Orange. Price flashed at 99c.
Monster Energy is the number one energy drink in the USA. Monster Energy sells over a billion cans in the US to make it the biggest selling energy drink by volume, unit sales and value. Monster Energy is now available in Ireland and throughout Europe in key markets such as GB, France, Benelux, Spain and Sweden.
The Monster Ireland sampling campaign forms part of a European-wide multi-million euro marketing programme that will also include sponsorship of major music festivals, action and motor sports activity, including the sporting legend Valentino Rossi who is the latest signing to the Monster Energy athlete roster.
Retailers who are interested in Monster Energy should contact their Glanbia sales representative or your local wholesaler.
Sparkling sales results
Amanda Grabham, marketing communications controller for Shloer, the sparkling adult soft drinks brand, believes retailers can take measures to maximise the potential of soft drink sales in their stores. "We often find that there’s a combination of product and flavour duplication in the range on offer – a variety of colas or carbonated orange drinks for example – and gaps in the range where some soft drink sectors are conspicuous by their absence," says Grabham.
"In terms of gaps in the range, adult soft drinks are a prime example. It’s a sector which is ripe for development…which stands to benefit from the increase in entertaining and dining at home."
Grabham says that stores frequently have three or four cola variants, but only one or two Shloer variants, of which four are available. These flavours, she claims, "add so much more variety, choice and appeal to the soft drinks range." Shloer also wants to persuade retailers to put Shloer into their chillers, in order to gain incremental sales from the brand, particularly during the summer.
Consumer trends towards drinks free from artificial colourings and flavours are met by Shloer. The brand is also helping retailers draw consumers into adult drinks as the leading brand; by providing a range of free Shloer POS materials throughout the year, which are available via the Shloer POS Hotline (01 457 7580). The main thrust of the 2009 consumer activity for Shloer is being aimed at highlighting different usage occasions and social events where consumers can enjoy Shloer with family and friends.
Shloer’s summer push will get underway with a consumer press campaign, which broke in celeb magazines Hello and OK! in April and continues to run throughout the summer and will reach 60,000 consumers in the Republic of Ireland; and a BBQ-themed consumer PR activity. Also, 23,000 consumers who have signed up to receive regular newsletters from Shloer will be invited to visit the Shloer website (www.shloer.com) which, from May, will be featuring BBQ tips and recipes.
Custom branded refrigeration units
If your brands or products belong to the chilled category and need additional refrigeration space at store level, why not contact AOC Marketing about their branded fridge programme.
AOC Marketing will rent you the refrigeration unit, which can be easily branded with your POS material, transforming the unit into your brand’s personalised advertising space at the point of purchase, while also increasing your market share at shelf in a category with limited chilled space.
This an ideal activity for launching new chilled FMCG products or for highlighting a great promotional offer on your brands. Fridge placement coverage is nationwide. For further details please call AOC Marketing at (025) 33011.
BCI rises to obesity challenge
The Beverage Council of Ireland (BCI), which represents the bottled water, soft drinks and fruit juice industries in the Republic of Ireland, has stated it will rise further to the challenge presented by Mary Wallace, Minister for Health Promotion and Food safety at the industry’s annual forum last month. The Minister said obesity has become one of the fastest growing health problems in Ireland.
John Galvin, president of the BCI and forum chair responded that the BCI is keen to work with the minister’s team and all stakeholders in finding a way to address social and health issues. He added however that “these issues are multi-factorial and no one food or beverage can be singled out to be the direct cause…Physical activity has declined and it is equally important that this be addressed.”
Galvin also stated that the industry is a very responsible one, investing heavily in product innovation and research. The industry continues to address emerging trends resulting in a rise in consumption of no/low calorie variants from 28% in 1988 to over half of all soft drinks consumed, at 57% currently. The member companies of the BCI individually and via their membership are signatories to the UNESDA commitments, which provides guidelines for best practice.
He added that numerous initiatives over recent years clearly demonstrate the industry’s commitment to health. In September 2007 the sector launched a series of position papers on ‘Marketing and Promotion of Soft Drinks to Children’, the ‘Sale of Soft Drinks in Schools’, ‘Additives’, ‘Sugar and Sweeteners’, ‘Dental Health’ and ‘Obesity, Diet and Nutrition’.
The Industry also has developed a non branded, non promotional educational website called Liquids4life.ie, and supports the GDA system, a voluntary industry initiative to empower consumers to make informed choices by providing on-pack information.
Coca-Cola polishes halo in Innocent deal
Coca-Cola has bought a minority stake in UK smoothie maker, Innocent. Despite Innocent’s sales falling 20% in 2008, from €146m in 2007 to €117m last year, The UK Sunday Telegraph earlier reported that several potential suitors were pursuing the company.
Innocent says it plans to use the £30m (€33m) investment to expand its European sales. The London-based company currently sells its products in 13 countries.
Coke and PepsiCo have already made several beverage acquisitions to improve their nutritional profiles. In 2007, Coke paid about €3.14bn for healthy water brand, Glaceau Vitaminwater and Pepsi bought the US healthy soda company, Ardea, in 2006.
A recent Carbon Trust report found the carbon footprint was smaller for the manufacturing of a can of Coke than for a 250ml Innocent smoothie. When packaging, transportation and refrigeration were taken into account, each can of Coke produced 170g of carbon dioxide while an Innocent 250ml mango and passionfruit smoothie emitted 209g of CO2. Reed said the carbon numbers reflected the fact a can of Coke was most mostly water.
Last year PepsiCo entered the UK smoothie market by debuting Tropicana Smoothies.