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CCE introduces new scheme to raise standard of postmix serves

COCA-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is taking licensees back to school with the launch of a new effort to teach bar staff how to properly serve Coca-Cola and Diet Coke

The Accredited Coca-Cola Establishment (ACE) programme will include postmix training as well as detailed guidelines on how to serve Coca-Cola and Diet Coke. Quoting figures from Crest Data and Mintel, the company said although 80% of people prefer soft drinks to alcoholic drinks at lunchtime, 63% believe they receive poor value for money in pubs with regard to soft drinks.
CCE reckons there is potential to increase overall postmix sales by 6% in the trade. Its sales reps will provide outlets with training and support materials, including a reference booklet, back-of-house posters, video training, glassware and cleaning kits.
The reference booklet contains a ‘five simple steps to success’ guide, which covers the key topics of daily maintenance, fresh and in-date product, hygiene, creating the perfect serve and brand visibility. After their training, licensees will be assessed across a number of criteria, including the taste, carbonation and temperature of the drinks being served, clean nozzles and front of bar displays and the age of the syrup being used.
In order to become ACE-accredited, the venue will have to secure a 90% pass mark.
Once they are accredited, outlets will receive an ACE ‘visibility kit’, which they can use to inform customers that they offer the highest standard of postmix soft drinks. The kit includes a plaque, certificate and font badge.
CCE also follows up the certification with mystery shop visits to ensure the quality of service is maintained over time. Barbara Johnson, shopper marketing manager at CCE, told SLTN the scheme will look to introduce a single quality standard for postmix.
“I think it’s one of those strange categories that doesn’t have a defined size,” she said. “When you walk into a pub and ask for a Coke you can either get a 200ml, a half pint, a pint or various things, so there’s kind of no standard. What the consumer expects is what you get in a can, so if I was asking for Coke I’d expect to get at least 330ml. The other side is that if you order a pint sometimes you’re charged for two serves and you never know which price you’re going to get.”
Johnson added that CCE is anticipating considerable interest in the scheme, and aims to have 16,000 outlets accredited by 2014. Postmix currently accounts for approximately 60% of Coke’s sales in the on-trade, and is in growth, she said.