The company sketched out the plans at a virtual briefing for trade press on 18 December. Stephen Moorhouse, general manager, CCEP GB, said a lot of its innovation would concentrate on focusing back on core products: “The core is really there for us in Coke trademark, flavours, sparkling, mixers, energy. You’re going to keep seeing a lot of that driving growth. Costa and ready-to-drink really is an opportunity for us. I think we’ll see the core drive there, but then the opportunities will come around NPD.
“Is this a year to stop innovation? We have seen a lot of retailers cut SKU [stock keeping unit] counts and their availability, but I think you’ll see some select innovation.”
Moorhouse said he believed sales of large sharing packs would stay strong at least for the first half of 2021. However, he expected the pent-up desire for consumers to spend lavishly on out-of-home occasions would return in the second half of the year.
Referring to Topo Chico Hard Selzer, the alcohol brand which CCEP announced earlier this year it would roll out across Europe, Moorhouse said: “You’ll start seeing that in GB early next year through retail and then throughout.” The brand is already available through online retailers such as Ocado, but the suggestion is it will expand through mainstream retail channels from the New Year.
Rob Harris, CCEP vice president of sales added: “Energy is the first thing that has recovered fastest. The young, adult male consumer group that energy targets has been far more open to going into away-from-home outlets and convenience and we’ll be doing more NPD next year to support that energy performance.”