Paul Hill finds out how Bestway and Britvic are growing the Rockstar brand
The energy drinks category has always performed well in the convenience channel, with the segment going from strength to strength in wholesale over the past two years. This is especially true with Britvic’s Rockstar brand, which continues to expand.
Britvic’s GB wholesale director Ian Patefield recently met Bestway’s general manager Nauman Mahmood at the company’s headquarters at Park Royal in West London to talk through the Rockstar range and the profits the category can bring to the channel.
“It’s really great to be here at Bestway to work with the team around our Rockstar range, and to discuss the importance of the category to their retailers,” explained Patefield. “At Britvic, we want to understand the challenges wholesalers face when it comes to energy drinks and support them in merchandising their energy drinks range. We also want to drive awareness of the Rockstar range and how the range caters to shoppers’ needs with flavours and different variants. In 2021, stimulants overtook cola to become the biggest soft drinks segment in the convenience channel, growing by a staggering 19.6% to £656m1.”
It’s been a busy few months for Britvic, with the launch of two of its top performing flavours2, Juiced El-Mango and Tropical Punch in a price-marked pack format. Designed to further drive impulse purchases and bring new shoppers into the category, the £1.29 PMP cans were released to wholesalers in August.
The Britvic team were also out in force over the summer, sampling 900,000 cans of Rockstar across four cities in June and July. Further sampling and experiential activity took place across universities, targeting new starters during Fresher’s Week. This all formed part of Britvic’s new global messaging campaign ‘Fuel Every You’ which helped to drive awareness of the brand and ensure it is front of mind when consumers are in convenience stores.
Mahmood explained that Rockstar products are performing really well at Bestway. “It’s one of our leaders in depot, which has become a really fast-growing segment across over the past 18 months.”
Patefield added that stimulants has a core of extremely loyal buyers, with 20% of shoppers accounting for over 75% of volume and buying more than three times per week3. “Although consumers gravitate towards their favourite flavour there is also demand for expanded ranges and new flavours, with 17% of sports & energy drink consumers actively seeking out new flavours4, and we have seen this need being met through a variety of NPD and flavour expansions across brands.”
“It’s been great having Britvic here in West London. Meetings like this are great for not only us but our retailers,” concluded Mahmood, with Patefield adding the benefits the meetings bring to both parties: “It’s good to travel and visit our wholesale customers. Days like this not only allow us to understand their needs better, but it allows us to help them become more successful in the energy drinks category.”
Nauman Mahmood, general manager, Bestway Wholesale: “We’re always more than
happy to welcome the Britvic team to Bestway. These meetings are great for us to learn about NPD and the wider category, which we’re then able to pass onto our retailers in depots and their customers.”
Ian Patefield, GB wholesale director, Britvic: “Range expansion has been vital in keeping pace with increased demand and wholesalers should ensure there are a selection of products and flavours to help retailers attract new shoppers into the category such as Rockstar’s range of core six flavours.”
1IRI Marketplace, Soft Drinks Value Sales vs LY & 2YA, 52 w.e. 26.12.21, 2NielsenIQ RMS, Grocery Mults, Volume share of brand sales, Britvic Defined, MAT to 25.06.22 – 64% of brand volume, 3Kantar Worldpanel – OOH Panel – Britvic Defined Stimulants Sector – 52w/e data 08/08/21, 4Mintel Sports and Energy Drinks UK 2021