YOUNG consumers have arguably never had so much choice when it comes to drinks.
From flavoured ciders to beers from around the world, there’s no shortage of brands vying for their place in the repertoires of 18 to 24 year olds.
In such a crowded and competitive marketplace, the firms behind two of the biggest ready to drink brands say it’s vital operators give the category the fridge space they reckon it deserves.
“The ready to drink market is worth £634 million and RTDs are still the second largest category in the fridge in terms of volume and space, so the sector remains hugely valuable,” said Simon Green, marketing director at VK parent company Global Brands.
“It’s important for bars to make sure they’re stocking the most popular brands in order to drive sales.
“Stocking cheaper brands with no identity or marketing support behind them can actually be detrimental for an outlet.
“Quality can shift more volume per venue, on average, and maintain a higher level of value.”
Green’s views were echoed by Debs Carter, marketing director at WKD owner Beverage Brands.
Claiming that RTDs account for a quarter of on-trade premium packaged drinks sales, Carter said this should be “reflected in the portion of space devoted to RTD brands in chiller cabinets”.
“As the RTD category generates roughly a quarter of all premium packaged drinks sales, then basic merchandising principles dictate that RTDs should have the equivalent amount of chiller space so to avoid having to constantly restock under-faced popular brands,” she said.
“Like the best shop windows, back-bar displays should be refreshed to deliver a new promotional or seasonal message, or profile a different product.
“The back-bar area is an important selling space and a well-prepared display really can drive sales of a new or promoted product.”
Green also advised operators to stock a broad range of new and established variants.
“The key to the category’s revival is innovation and continued investment by established brands,” he added.
“Whilst the majority of new product development seems focused around ready to serve drinks, which are marketed as ‘premium products’, traditional RTDs are also innovating and VK is leading the way.
“Flavours are driving consumer interest in the category and VK offers the largest choice of fruit flavours, including the newest addition to the range, VK Cheeky.”