Healthy profits


AS consumers shake off the excesses of the festive season, it’s the perfect time for operators to lay on some healthy options.

And according to the firm behind Irn-Bru, the soft drinks category provides plenty of scope in this regard.
“Consumers are particularly health-conscious during the early part of the new year,” said Mike Simons, category manager at AG Barr.
“This trend has a positive impact on soft drinks, and in particular fruit juices.
“Sugar-free variants also see a benefit as many consumers switch to sugar-free beverages in the short-term to cut down on calories.
“Operators can take advantage of these trends by ensuring they stock a range of trusted brands.”
But while Simons said it’s a good time for healthier options, it’s not necessarily a bad time for traditional fizzy products.
“All soft drinks perform well in January, with low-calorie drinks such as Irn-Bru Sugar Free and bottled water such as Strathmore performing particularly well,” he said.
“Consumers will purchase more juice drinks and sugar-free drinks, but they require choice and a wide range of flavours other than the standard orange or apple.”
On how the wider economy is affecting sales, Simons added that “customers are continuing to look for choice and value”.