Soft drinks companies overtook alcohol brands on traditional advertising spend last year, according to MCA’s sister title The Grocer’s latest annual advertising report.

Led by Coca-Cola, non-alcoholic brands splashed out a total of £100.1m on TV, print, radio, outdoor and cinema advertising in 2016, bagging them a 6.6% share of total fmcg spend.

The ramp-up meant the category leapfrogged alcohol, nudging ahead on spend by a narrow margin of £1.7m as alcohol brands reduced their total budget for non-digital marketing by 8.6% to £98.4m. Confectionery maintained its position as the biggest spender.

The Grocer said that the switch comes as soft drinks brands have embarked on heavy innovation ahead of next year’s sugar tax, rolling out new low-calorie options and reformulating existing products to suit consumers’ needs.