Tesco’s decision to pull Ribena products with added sugar from its shelves has actually helped to boost the drinks brand, its Head of Marketing has revealed.

According to Hannah Norbury, the supermarket’s move led to many people who enjoy Ribena quietly coming out and speaking up on its behalf on social media.

This, she said, took the drinks brand by surprise, particularly as many of the people talking up Ribena were young adults of the kind it has been actively targeting in recent months.

Indeed, Ribena recently launched a promotional drive aimed at a wider audience than its traditional target of parents, including young adults in particular.

“We realised that people weren’t buying because of the health messages – it was because of the taste,” Ms Norbury commented.

She noted that Ribena is using various means to target younger adults, including distributing content that genuinely adds value, while it is also looking at building a presence on emerging platforms such as Pinterest and Snapchat.

“Focusing on the taste and experience of drinking Ribena means we’re not trying to land the health messages, so we’re celebrating everything that’s fun about Ribena,” Ms Norbury said.

She went on to reveal that Ribena had known about Tesco’s plans to remove its added sugar drinks from its shelves for some time.

This meant the recent promotional drive was not put together quickly in a few days to respond to the move, but rather planned carefully in advance to showcase its brand offering.

One significant aspect of this latest marketing strategy is the fact that Ribena is promoting its Light variant more heavily.

Ms Norbury said this decision was taken to reflect the fact that the market is evolving and that the brand needs to change accordingly. This, she stated, made it necessary to make sure those who don’t know the Light flavour exists realise they have a choice.

Ribena marketing director breaks silence on Tesco delist saga: “A lot of brand love came out”, The Drum