Britvic Expands US Distribution of Fruit Shoot

December 1, 2011 — Britvic plc has announced agreements with three of the top four bottlers of Pepsi in the United States to expand the distribution of its leading soft drinks brand, Fruit Shoot . The agreements will see the manufacture of Fruit Shoot in the US for the first time, starting in Spring 2012.

Fruit Shoot was first introduced to the US in 2008 through a distribution agreement with Buffalo Rock, the 4th largest Pepsi bottler in the States, and the new agreements reflect the success that the brand has seen to date.

The new agreements mean Britvic now has distribution agreements with all four top bottlers. They comprise:

A long term manufacturing and distribution agreement with Pepsi Bottling Ventures, a joint venture company owned by Suntory and PepsiCo and the 2nd largest US Pepsi bottler, which will see Fruit Shoot being manufactured in the USA for the first time in  North Carolina from  May 2012. Britvic will supply proprietry beverage compounds from its manufacturing facilities in Dublin, Ireland, operated by Britvic Worldwide Brands.

A distribution agreement with Gross & Jarson, the 3rd largest and privately owned US Pepsi bottler, which will distribute Fruit Shoot in its Kentucky and Ohio territories.

A distribution agreement with Pepsi Beverages Company, the wholly owned subsidiary of PepsiCo, responsible for the majority of Pepsi bottling and distribution in the US, and which is now distributing Fruit Shoot in Florida and Georgia.

These agreements mark a new phase in the development of the Fruit Shoot brand in the USA, with local manufacturing allowing more ambitious expansion than has previously been possible. As a result, Fruit Shoot will now be available to consumers in more than 10,000 convenience stores, independent grocery stores and food service outlets in six states in the Eastern USA;  Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Kentucky.

Jim Reade, managing director of Britvic International, commented:

“We are delighted to have signed agreements with such powerful and capable partners in the US market. In particular the agreement with PBV gives us the potential to expand with speed and flexibility through their manufacturing base in the USA. This development gives us a shorter and less volatile supply chain with which to service our partners and continue the rapid growth of the Fruit Shoot brand.”

David Lindgren, Head of Franchise at Britvic International, added:

“The Fruit Shoot brand continues to go from strength to strength in the US, illustrated by its success with our original partner, Buffalo Rock, who posted 40% growth in 2011, their fourth year of distributing Fruit Shoot. With both rate of sale and distribution building constantly, driven by our partners’ execution of our point of purchase programme, we are confident that Fruit Shoot has a great future in the US.

Our partnership with Bickford’s in Australia is now a year old and has proved to be similarly successful. We are also in discussions with various potential partners in our targeted markets for Fruit Shoot around the world to begin planning the next phase of the brand’s expansion.”

About Britvic:

Britvic is one of the leading branded soft drinks businesses in Europe. The company leverages its own leading brand portfolio including Robinsons, Tango, Drench, J2O and Fruit Shoot as well as PepsiCo brands such as Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew Energy which Britvic produces and sells in GB and Ireland under exclusive PepsiCo agreements.

Britvic is the largest supplier of branded still soft drinks in Great Britain (“GB”) and the number two supplier of branded carbonated soft drinks in GB. Britvic is an industry leader in the island of Ireland with brands such as MiWadi and Ballygowan, and in France with brands such as Teisseire and Fruité. Britvic is growing its reach into other territories through export, licensing and franchising. Britvic’s management team has successfully developed the business through a clear strategy of organic growth and international expansion based on creating and building scale brands. Britvic is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the code BVIC.