Soft drinks calories cut 7%

Calories across the soft drinks category are down by 7.3% over the last three years, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

The data shows that calories and sugars from soft drinks are falling faster than in any other food and drink category, with calories down 7.3% and sugar down 8.3% since April 2012.

The figures coincide with a period of initiatives by producers to reformulate products, provide smaller pack sizes and promote the wide variety of low and no calorie products available to consumers. Soft drinks companies have backed their efforts with a significant increase in advertising spend on promoting low and no calorie products – up by nearly 50% last year alone.

Other figures recently published in the 2015 UK soft drinks report Changing Tastes underscore the message from the Kantar data on changing patterns of consumer consumption. Almost half of all carbonates sold in the UK are low or no calorie (49%). Sales of bottled water continue to flourish – up 9.3% in 2014 – and nearly three quarters (74%) of all dilutables sold are low or no calorie.

But despite growth in some categories in 2014, soft drinks consumption was down overall by 0.5%. That partly reflects the fall in sales of fruit juice (down 9.5%) – an unfortunate by product of the misguided campaign on sugar – which sadly means some consumers have reduced the role of fruit juice in their five a day, says the BSDA.

Gavin Partington, BSDA director general, comments, “Efforts by soft drinks producers and major retailers have clearly had an impact on the market, with consumer calorie intake from our products down significantly. This shows that voluntary steps by industry are having an impact.”

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