Taste Tomorrow Social


Action on Drinks, Action on Packaging, Low and No Sugar | Oliver Crick, GB Category Development Director

A taste of tomorrow from Coca-Cola Europacifc Partners

The end of the year’s in sight, but there’s no slowing down in soft drinks. The category continues to grow, and we’re here to help make sure our customers can benefit.


That means seizing key seasonal opportunities, meeting consumers’ evolving expectations and navigating a changing regulatory landscape together – all through the lens of our refreshed Taste Tomorrow soft drinks category vision. Take a look here


Let’s take a look at three of the key pillars of Taste Tomorrow, and what they mean for our customers now, and in the months ahead.


Healthier Choices – HFSS One-Year-To-Go


Walk into your local supermarket or convenience store in a year’s time, and it could look very different. New regulations come into force next October – which restrict volume promotions on high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products, and where those products can be located, in-store and online.


While soft drinks is one of the 15 affected categories, it’s in stronger position than most, having already innovated and reformulated at scale.


The sugar content in soft drinks is 17% lower than it was in 2017[1] (a period in which the category has still delivered 15% volume growth[2]). And 73% of soft drinks value sales already come from HFSS-compliant products[3].


Our sugar reduction journey in GB began in the early ‘80s, when we first brought Diet Coke to market. Fast-forward 40 years to today, when we’re proud to offer low and zero (non-HFSS impacted) variants from nearly all of our brands – which account for two thirds of our volume sales[4].



And that’s why industry forecasts expect soft drinks to maintain the top spot for value growth in across impulse categories in the coming years[5].


For more information about the HFSS regulations (including exemptions) and our promotional and merchandising advice, read our factsheet on our trade website. 



Together Time – Christmas & Halloween


It goes without saying that people have missed getting together with family and friends during the coronavirus pandemic – especially on special or seasonal occasions, which are going to be bigger than ever in the coming weeks.



Halloween is now the 4th largest retail event in GB[6]. Despite the restrictions that were in place in 2020, it was still up 5.4% in value on 2019[7] and worth £454 million for retailers[8] – with soft drinks growing faster than both pumpkins and confectionery[9]. I recently took part in a virtual conference for convenience retailers, where I shared some Halloween top tips. Watch it back here.



And now for the biggest moment in the retail calendar; Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Coca-Cola. Led by Coca-ColaTM[10], our soft drink brands were the biggest contributor (54%[11]) to the soft drinks category’s 19% retail growth last Christmas[12].


Our advice to retailers is to stock up on sharing packs of leading brands in key segments like colas, flavoured carbonates, lemonade and mixers, and to activate cross-category displays, such as with mixers or with food.



For licensees we expect to see a very different Christmas to last year. Looking back to Christmas 2019, overall spend in the on-trade was up 5.4% with soft drink serves up by 3.1%. Coca-Cola was the No.1 soft drink and 87% of all mixed drink serves included a Cola, Lemonade or Tonic Water[13] highlighting the importance of core ranges and well-known brand


We’ll be supporting licensed customers with a range a festive Schweppes serves with POS materials available on and a new mixer menu creator site here 


Responsible Living – Latest Shopper Research


We recently surveyed 8,000 shoppers to understand their attitudes and behaviours towards soft drinks shopping – and we identified that their top sustainability priority is recyclability, followed by packaging made from recycled content[14].


Fortunately we’re already delivering on both – and we’re well on our way to achieving 100% recycled or renewable plastic in all our bottles, and the creation of a circular economy for our plastic packaging.


Our 500ml plastic bottles in GB are now made with 100% recycled plastic and continue to be fully recyclable – proof points that we communicate clearly on pack, and that will help us save 29,000 tonnes of virgin plastic each year.



We’re also launching a new POS materials next month to meet demand from 54% of shoppers who want to learn how to reduce their impact on the environment[15].


We’ve got leading brands in nearly every segment, and they’re leading the way on sustainability, too.


That gives shoppers more reasons than ever to build their basket around our portfolio, and for our customers to unlock growth with us at their side.


If you’d like more information, please get in touch with us on [email protected].


[1] Kantar Take Home Nutritional Data 52we 11th July 2021 vs 11th July 2017

[2] Kantar Take Home Nutritional Data 52we 11th July 2021 vs 11th July 2017

[3] Kantar Take Home % HFSS Spend, MAT 21.2.21

[4] 2020 This is Forward Status Summary data period FY 2020 – 67%.

[5] Euromonitor value category projections 2020-2025

[6] Nielsen Scantrack Data w/e 31.10.2020, Halloween = latest 4 weeks,

[7] Nielsen Scantrack Data w/e 31.10.2020, Total GB I Halloween 20 vs 19. Halloween = latest 4 weeks

[8] Nielsen Scantrack Data w/e 31.10.2020, Total GB I Halloween 20 vs 19. Halloween = latest 4 weeks

[9] Kantar | FMCG Panel | Take Home | Halloween Sub-Categories Value Chg % Halloween 20 vs. 19 2W 1st Nov 2020

[10] Kantar FMCG Panel 4 w/e 27.12.21

[11] Kantar FMCG Panel 4 w/e 27.12.21

[12] Source: Nielsen Value, Grocery, we 21.12.2019 & we 26.12.2020 vs rest of year average

[13]Source (1)CGA OPMS Data P13 2019 (28/12/2019:

[14] Bespoke CCEP PDH Research, Kantar August 2021

[15] Bespoke CCEP PDH Research, Kantar August 2021