Changes in the soft drinks market

Soft drinks industry marketers are finding that they now need to add value to their marketing in order to compete in this fiercely competitive sector rather than focusing entirely on price. It has become harder for companies in the soft drinks industry to compete on price as commodity costs have risen in recent times, pushing up the cost price of soft drinks and making it harder for companies to maintain their margins.

According to a report by soft drinks manufacturer Britvic, who are based in Essex, there was a 6.7% increase in the value of soft drinks sales in 2011, pushing the value of sales in this sector up to £6.98bn. On the other hand, the sales volume of soft drinks fell to 1%, 3% lower than the sales volume in 2010.

As a result of this change in the market it is expected that brands will increase the number of promotions they run as well as their online marketing activity in a bid to stand out from their competitors, which is likely to lead to an increase in the number of marketing jobs opening up within the sector. There have been a number of new products entering this highly competitive sector recently, such as a new Pepsi can size as well as the launch of Vimto’s Reggae Reggae drinks range.

Coca-Cola has also announced plans to launch a new 375ml pocket-sized bottle; this new bottle size will be the first since the original bottle was introduced in 1993. The new bottle launch will be supported by an ad campaign which will use their ‘Open Happiness’ strapline and will include T-side adverts on buses as well as in-store point-of-sale promotion. The decision to sell a new bottle size came from customer research which found that consumers wanted another option to choose from other than the 330ml can and 500ml bottle. “We’re pleased to be responding to consumer demand and launching our first new on-the-go pack size in almost 20 years, building on our commitment to growing the choice of Coca-Cola products available.” announced Zoe Howart, Market Activation Director from Coca-Cola Great Britain. In 2011, Cola was the take-home soft drinks market leader and was successful in attracting customers from competitors, leading to a category increase of £1.5bn in value, equivalent to 7.6%.

As brands are looking to differentiate themselves from their competitors, they are finding other ways to promote their brand other than price; Britvic and PepsiCo launched a CSR campaign to promote their initiative that for each soft drink they sell a 1cm² area of unused land will be turned into playgrounds or parks.

Brand Recruitment recruits for a number of marketing jobs in Essex and across the Eastern region and works with a number of high profile FMCG brands.

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