With some consumers facing a squeeze on their income during the coronavirus outbreak, Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has reduced the recommended price points for its range of price-marked packs (PMPs) across its colas portfolio. The soft drinks group is also focusing on larger formats amid the current drop off in on-the-go consumption.

1.75l bottles of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar – including the cherry and vanilla-flavoured variants – and Diet Coke are now available in a £1.75 PMP, and 1.5l bottles of Coca-Cola Original Taste and Coca-Cola Cherry are now available in a £1.95 PMP.

The company stated that the focus on larger formats is helping retailers to take advantage of increased consumption of soft drinks within the home during the lockdown. Sales of Coca-Cola’s larger pack formats have increased in recent weeks, with consumers said to want volume and value for money when buying soft drinks.

Alison Adderley, Field Sales Director at CCEP, said: “Since the country went into lockdown, consumer behaviour has been evolving. Whilst we all hope things go back to normal as soon and as safely as possible, we can be pretty certain of some long-term changes in the way people shop, which suppliers and retailers must adapt to.

“By making these much-loved drinks available in an even more appealing PMP, we’re helping retailers respond to a number of key shopper demands.”

She highlighted research that showed shoppers are currently buying into snacking and treating categories more often, and growing numbers of people are looking to save money in the months ahead. “PMPs offer visible value, reassuring shoppers that they can get the products they want, without being overcharged. In fact, PMPs account for over 60% of total soft drink sales in independent and symbol convenience stores,” said Adderley.

As lockdown measures begin to ease in the coming weeks, footfall to local stores is expected to increase. CCEP stated that this will bring increased demand for smaller formats as people return to consuming soft drinks on-the-go. To help retailers capitalise, the company has introduced 500ml bottles of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Cole in a £1 PMP.

The Coca-Cola Company recently revealed that it had seen its overall sales volumes plummet 25% in April as the coronavirus-related shutdowns of bars, restaurants, sports stadiums and other venues impacted the consumption of its soft drinks.