However, overall value in the soft drinks category was boosted through the on-trade in 2012, up 1.5% in value to £2.7bn, reversing last year’s 1% value and 4% volume decline.
Mineral water was the biggest category loser in pubs last year, down 17.3% in value to £72.8m and 20.1% in volume to 17.5 million litres, while fruit juice also lost out as consumers watched the pennies, falling 13.8% in value to £250m and 17.1% in volume to 31.6 million litres
Carbonates remained the back bone of the soft drinks category in the on-trade, with cola taking almost half of all soft drinks volume sales but this was driven by cheaper dispense cola at the expense of the more costly packaged options which declined in both value and volume.
Pepsi continued to out-perform Coca-Cola in pubs, up 8% in value to £336m and 1.3% in volume to 73.5 million litres versus Coca-Cola’s 6.8% value growth to £301m and volume decline of 3% to 63 million litres.
The best performing category was energy drinks, up 28.7% in value to £192.7m and 18.7% in volume to 27.5 million litres, thanks to a stellar performance by Red Bull, which grew 15.3% in value to £110.9m and 11.6% in volume to 12.8 million litres.
Juice drinks also did well up10.5% in value to £234.6m and 4.2% in volume to 36.3 million litres.
“It’s accurate to say the on-trade has faced continued challenges and a summer that failed to meet expectations, however, publicans should remain optimistic,” said customer management director, Paul Graham.
“Behind beer, soft drinks are the second largest consumed drink making them a vital part of the on-trade landscape and are enjoyed by all.”
(All data, CGA, MAT to week ending 29.12.12).