Let profits flow from soft drinks

Value for money and a good product range are key, suppliers say


WET weather may have dampened soft drinks sales this summer, but the category remains highly lucrative for licensees – providing they get it right.

That’s the message from soft drinks firms contacted last week by SLTN, who said offering consumers a selection of products and brands – and the ‘perfect serve’ for each – is key to maximising sales.
Britvic advised operators to cater for a broad clientele when it comes to soft drinks, and stock a range that includes carbonates, fruit juices, adult brands and, for family outlets, a selection of kids’ varieties.
“Families are twice as likely to order a soft drink, so it’s crucially important that a pub’s range of soft drinks is right for its customers, especially children,” said Andrew Boyd, commercial director for leisure at Britvic, which added to its J2O range earlier this month with limited edition festive variant J2O Glitter Berry.
“If kids are happy then a family’s dwell time is likely to increase.
“Soft drinks are often under-represented, leading to habitual purchases and a ‘bored’ consumer.
“We believe that licensees can maximise this opportunity by focusing on choice, visibility and value within the soft drinks category.”
Britvic reckons there are a number of ways operators can give their customers value for money, besides offering ‘buy one, get one free’ and free refill deals.
“Value doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, but instead a perfectly served soft drink in a hospitable environment that warrants spend outside of the home,” Boyd added.
“In fact, 77% of consumers are more likely to buy another drink if the first was served perfectly.”
Helping operators deliver the ‘perfect’ soft drinks serve is also high on the agenda of Fentimans.
The firm has staged a number of ‘product knowledge days’ in pubs in an effort to encourage staff to recommend Fentimans to their customers.
“Licensees need to be inventive when the beer garden is under a foot of water and promoting premium soft drinks such as Fentimans means that customers feel that they are experiencing something special,” said operations director Tiffany McKirdy.

Soft drinks are often under-represented, leading to habitual purchases.

Meanwhile, AG Barr is set to run a new marketing campaign for Irn-Bru in the coming months.
“The campaign in the autumn and winter will really engage consumers, including pub-goers, to ensure that people feel phenomenal about the brand,” said head of marketing Adrian Troy. “We’re committed to driving Irn-Bru’s growth in the licensed trade.”