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Meet The Makers: Britvic Ireland

By Donna Ahern
Meet The Makers: Britvic Ireland

Britvic Ireland is rolling out a major brand re-launch campaign over the next few months to reflect what it believes are the four key trends that will define the soft drinks market between now and 2025. Maev Martin talks to managing director Kevin Donnelly

The summer of 2020 was characterised by limited opportunities to go out, picnics, and holidaying at home, and it looks like more of the same for this year. Nevertheless, Donnelly is optimistic about summer 2021.

“I’m convinced that it will be better than 2020, although we won’t be back to the way it was in 2019,” he says. “I’m expecting a big bounce back this month and in June, with the vaccination rollout accelerating. Also, the most recent lockdown has been longer than last year’s first lockdown, which means that the consumer is itching to get out and about and establish familiar routines in terms of meeting friends and family, so that gives me cause for optimism.

“There will be a lot of staycations, but they will happen in a more planned and conscious way this year as a lot of people got burned when they went to book B&Bs and holiday homes in 2020. Hotel bookings in the traditional holiday locations outside of Dublin look good, so I think we will have a reasonably strong domestic tourist season, but we won’t have the foreign tourists who tend to come through Dublin, at least as their first port of call.”

Whatever summer 2021 brings, Britvic Ireland is coming out fighting, with the relaunch of four of its biggest brands this summer – Ballygowan, Club, MiWadi and 7-UP. “They will be relaunched on the market from May through to the end of July, because we are absolutely committed to re-emerging better and stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Donnelly.

Ballygowan - Bottled Wild

With the Ballygowan brand, they are launching a more modern design and new, lighter bottles. “The entire range will feature bottles that are 100% recyclable and, equally importantly, are made from 100% recycled PET, which is supporting the circular economy,” he says.

“That will take out about 1,500 tonnes of virgin plastic from the environment. We are also changing the visual identity of the brand, which is a big move for a brand leader. We are moving to a ‘sky to land’ logo, which encapsulates the brand story of Atlantic rain filtered through limestone rock.”

As reported in Checkout, Britvic Ireland launched its bottles made from 100% recycled PET in the 500ml size in October of last year. “We wanted to see if we could technically handle the PET and that trial worked extremely well, so we have now launched new, lighter bottles with the recycled PET on all pack sizes, which is going live this month,” says Donnelly. “Some of the pack sizes are already on supermarket shelves or in chillers, but the transition to the new bottles and new logo will be complete by mid-May.”

Once all the packs are available in the market, Britvic will launch its new consumer advertising campaign called Bottled Wild. “There is a generation of consumers who weren’t around when Ballygowan was launched in the 1980s, so they don’t know the Ballygowan story,” he says. “It is important to tell them what we are about and to also remind consumers who were around back then that we are still proudly Irish and that we are the most sustainable water brand in the Irish market.

"That message is at the heart of this re-launch. Apart from the sustainable credentials of our new packaging, we are also bottled locally, so we are on the island of Ireland. Unlike a lot of the other water brands that are available in the Irish market, we don’t travel long distances to get to the Irish consumer. This is important to the modern consumer as they now view buying Irish as not just having an economic element, but as being a more sustainable way of purchasing and living,” he adds.

2021 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Maev Martin. For more a-brands news click here. Click sign up to subscribe to Checkout.


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