Vimto gears up for bumper Ramadan

Vimto gears up for bumper Ramadan

Despite “challenging” times in its home market, Vimto manufacturer Nichols is expecting another strong performance during the Ramadan season in the Middle East.

The British maker of the fruit drink, which is popularly consumed by Muslims to break their fast, has been experiencing difficulties related to inflation following a drop in the value of the pound since Brexit.

Though Nichols, which also produces Sunkist drinks, reported sales up by 3.4% for the first quarter of 2017, it has predicted that the climate will continue to be difficult in Britain, where the wider soft drinks market grew by just 1.2% over the same period.

John Nichols, the company’s non-executive chairman, said: “We anticipate the UK soft drinks market will remain challenging throughout 2017 with the addition of currency-related input-cost inflation to an already price competitive environment.

"Against that backdrop, we are pleased with the group's trading performance for the first quarter and currently expect full year earnings to be in line with market expectations."

It is a much brighter story in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries, though, as Muslims prepare for the holy month, which is expected to begin on May 26, by stocking up on the purple cordial.

Nichols sells huge quantities in the region every year, with some shops even rationing the number of bottles that customers can buy. Vimto’s marketing campaigns even use slogans like “The power in Ramadan”.

Last year, some 35m bottles of the soft drink were sold in the Middle East, with a substantial sales spike during Ramadan. It is now home to the world’s most enthusiastic Vimto drinkers outside Britain, with sales seeing near-double-digit growth last year.

Vimto is manufactured under licence for the Saudi market by the Aujan Industrial Company and enjoys a 90% market share in the cordial concentrated drinks category.

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