Currently growth in the cola category is being driven by Cola Zero Sugar, with a 26% increase in value and an additional 7.7million transactions delivered through the brand in 2017 versus the previous year.
While the zero sugar brand accounts for 17% of all cola sales in the grocery channel it currently delivers just 1% in the on-trade, representing a huge opportunity for growth. This launch helps capture this growth opportunity for CCHBC’s on-trade partners in 2018.
The expansion in pack range for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar comes in advance of the introduction of the Government’s tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks, scheduled to come into effect from 6th April. As a direct result of the government tax, the price of Coca-Cola Classic will increase from that date but the ‘no sugar’ options in the range, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke, remain unaffected by the tax.
In line with ongoing efforts to respond to consumers’ changing tastes and demands Coca-Cola’s ‘Hero Zero’ marketing strategy continues making low- and no-sugar variants the easier choice for consumers. These tax-exempt variants also offer greater value for wholesalers, retailers and consumers from April.
Across the island of Ireland Coca-Cola HBC already sells more low- and no-sugar beverages than any other company (43% of all cola sold has no sugar and the company envisages this increasing to over 55% by 2020.
By April 2018 more than 60% of our sales volume will be made up of drinks will less than 5g sugar/100ml and will, therefore, be tax exempt,” explained Matthieu Seguin, General Manager, CCHBC Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Sprite, already a mid-calorie drink, is currently moving to no sugar. As the core Schweppes range continues to deliver growth in the category, all key variants will be reformulated to reduce sugar to less than 5g of sugar per 100ml, making Tonic, Bitter Lemon, Elderflower and Ginger Ale tax exempt.
Across the on-trade the only drinks from the CCHBC portfolio that will be applicable for the new tax will be Coca-Cola Classic, Monster Original, Schweppes’ White Lemonade and premium 1783 range.