8 bestselling soft drinks brands to drive retailers' sales

At Epicurium, we are always on the lookout for the brands that are shaking up the soft drinks chiller. Here, we analyse our exclusive data and reveal eight of the bestselling soft drinks brands that every independent convenience retailer should consider stocking.

Few categories present a bigger opportunity for retailers than soft drinks. Nielsen figures reveal the category has grown by 10.6% in the past year, now worth £2.5bn in Symbols and Independents.

Looking at the areas that are leading the growth, it is healthier and functional brands that are driving sales and profits. Sports & energy drinks are growing ahead of the market, with water and drinks with functional benefits also steaming ahead.

I won't keep you waiting any longer, here's Epicurium's list of best-selling soft drinks.

At No.1 we have the complete meal solution...Huel

bestselling soft drinks brands image 1- Huel meal replacement drinks on a stone marble surface with fruits and pastries surrounding them

Huel has been a game-changer in the soft drinks industry, introducing a new level of innovation and convenience to the market. With its unique blend of protein, fats, carbs, fibre, and 25 essential vitamins and nutrients, Huel is not just a drink, but a complete meal solution. However, the brand's biggest challenge has been to educate consumers about the benefits of getting a well-balanced meal from a drink. Despite this, Huel has been gaining popularity among consumers, and its message is slowly but surely sinking in.

At Epicurium, Huel is the bestselling soft drinks brand, and for good reason. It offers retailers the highest weekly cash margin of any drinks brand we stock, and its growth shows no signs of slowing down. The brand's top three months for sales have all been within the past six months, indicating a strong and sustained demand for this innovative product.

Overall, Huel has revolutionised the soft drinks category, providing consumers with a convenient and nutritious meal solution that fits their busy lifestyles. As the brand continues to educate and attract more consumers, we can expect to see even more growth and success in the future.

2. VITHIT - All your daily vitamins packed into one bottle.

bestselling soft drinks brand image 2 - vit hit on a plain white table adjacent to citrus fruit

VITHIT is a brand that offers a range of healthy and refreshing drinks that provide consumers with their complete recommended daily allowance of eight vitamins, all while containing less than 35 calories per bottle. The drinks are made from a handful of natural ingredients, including water, juice, vitamins, and tea extract, making them a perfect choice for health-conscious shoppers who want to stay hydrated and energised throughout the day.

Committed to using as little sugar as possible, VITHIT ensures that consumers get a natural boost without the energy crash that often comes with sugary drinks. This makes it a great choice for those who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing taste or convenience.

3. Vitamin Well - Swedish performance waters

bestselling soft drinks brands image 3 - Vitamin  well functional water, on the surface of a blue tennis court

Vitamin Well is an eco-conscious premium performance water brand hailing from Sweden. The packaging from Vitamin Well offers an aesthetic that only a premium Scandi brand could deliver, it's clean bold label displays an extensive list of natural health-focused ingredients, offering consumers the transparency we know they are looking for.

Each delicious flavour is aptly named and offers targeted benefits using natural ingredients, inspired by the latest trends in Nordic, American and Asian markets. Within our range, you will find Reload, Recover, Hydrate and Elevate.

The brand has grown from a small base but quickly became one of our bestselling soft drinks brands as sales tripled between August and September. We only started stocking it in June!

4. Barebells Milkshake - Vintage Americana inspired protein shakes

best selling soft drinks brand image 4 - barebells protein milkshake being poured into a glass

Barebell's branding marks a departure from the high-energy, gym-related imagery that dominates competitors, offering instead an inclusive, stylish design throwing back to vintage Americana that is an instant classic.

Barebells’ range of HFSS-compliant shakes are lactose-free, made with no added sugar, contain 24g of protein and are our third bestselling soft drinks brand. The number of stockists is growing – in September, more customers bought the brand than at any other time in the past year.

5. C4 Energy - America's fastest-growing performance drink offering explosive energy

bestselling soft drinks brand image 5 - C$ energy a high performance energy drink being pulled from a cold fridge

C4 Energy is America’s fastest-growing performance energy drink, catering towards the most active gym goers. With its 500mls of delicious flavour and 200mg of caffeine, it is the perfect drink for those customers who are looking for an extra boost during their workout sessions. The drink is packed with a broad range of ingredients that are essential for fitness fanatics, making it a must-have for anyone serious about their fitness goals.

If you are a retailer who is located near a gym or fitness centre, then you should stock up on C4 energy drinks. With its growing popularity, it is sure to be a hit among your customers, and you can expect to see a significant increase in sales in the coming months. So, don't miss out on this opportunity to offer your customers a high-quality energy drink that is specifically designed for fitness enthusiasts.

6. Dash Water - Premium flavoured sparkling water - hero of the wonky fruit.

bestselling soft drinks brand - dashwater flavoured sparkling water on a pink surface surrounded by fruits that match its flavour

At Dash, they judge their ingredients on taste alone – looks never come into it. There are no calories, no sugar, no sweeteners – it's just like water, but better. So, while they are fussy about flavour, Dash Water doesn’t care if it’s bumped, curved, broken or squashed.

The brand's passion for sustainability leads it to use wonky fruit, unsuitable for sale in retail, but still perfectly fine for consumption. The brand estimates this will save 2,500 tonnes of wasted food by 2025.

7. WOW Hydrate - Hydration and Protein Soft Drinks with a twist

8 bestselling soft drinks brands to drive retailers' sales - Best Selling Soft drinks 0003 IMG 5731

Wow Hydrate is a protein and hydration brand with a difference. Their low-calorie, sugar-free range of protein drinks are made with water, rather than the more stodgy sources used by competitors. Available in 10g Protein, 20g Protein and Electrolyte varieties, the drinks also help consumers with their recommended daily allowance of vitamins C, D and B6. 

8. UFIT - The UK's leading High Protein Ready to Drink brands

8 bestselling soft drinks brands to drive retailers' sales - Best Selling Soft drinks 0002 group 330ml lifestyle 1

Founded in 2014, UFIT has rapidly ascended to become the UK's leading high-protein ready-to-drink brand. Offering a range of 25g and 50g protein drinks, UFIT is the UK’s leading high-protein ready-to-drink brand, with a broad range of flavours that tap into current market trends.

By stocking a combination of these eight bestselling soft drinks brands, we are confident that you can tap into the key trends that are driving growth in the category and recruit new shoppers. What unites these brands is that they all offer shoppers functional benefits beyond flavour. This is essential to appealing to health-conscious millennial and Gen Z shoppers.

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To see the numbers behind our 8 best selling soft drink brands driving retailer profit such as weekly cash margin, head over to the news section on our order platform and log in to your Epicurium account.

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