For the first time since 2011, UK Squash and Syrups consumption has reported growth. GlobalData’s Q4-2018 Quarterly Beverage Forecast reported a remarkable 6% volume increase in consumption for the year.

This was an impressive result particularly as Squash and Syrups has experienced several years of consecutive decline. The strong performance was driven by an array of factors including good weather, growth in adult soft drinks and new product development. Throughout the year, there was a raft of premium launches helping the category to stage a turnaround and inject value growth back into the category.

Throughout the year, growth was positive across all quarters, however the summer was a key period of trading for the category with the UK recording one of the hottest summers on record, helping to boost consumption.

Britvic was also instrumental in driving growth throughout the year. It invested heavily in the category, expanding its offering to appeal to a more mature demographic, in what is typically a category largely geared towards kids. Britvic launched several new products targeted towards the adult segment under its Robinsons brand in 2018.

Interestingly, still, ready-to-drink drinks, which include brands such as Capri Sun and Robinsons Fruit Shoot, declined by 10% in volume terms for the year. These cater to the children’s demographic and were largely impacted by concerns around sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Overall, the introduction of new flavours, packaging and more premium propositions helped to drive growth in the category. Looking ahead to 2019, the Squash and Syrups category is one to watch as it ticks the boxes of several current key trends in the UK soft drinks market. More innovation is expected from branded players throughout the year with private label brands expected to emulate the efforts of branded players.

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