That was the message last week from soft drinks giants Britvic and Coca-Cola Enterprises, which stressed the important role soft drinks play over the festive season.
According to Britvic, soft drinks remain the third most valuable category in the on-trade, behind beer and spirits, with the cola category alone worth over £1bn.
“Offering a soft drinks range that is relevant to consumers who don’t wish to drink alcohol during the festive session is essential and a way of helping to maximise soft drinks sales,” said Andrew Boyd, commercial director, leisure, at Britvic.
“As well as offering the core range of carbonates, juices and waters, we’d recommend that licensees also look for what else excites and engages their customers.”
Boyd advised operators to make sure they are promoting their soft drinks range throughout the outlet, as well as offering top value through promotions such as buy one, get one free and free refills.
Coca-Cola Enterprises, meanwhile, has stressed the importance of offering customers the perfect serve.
The company’s field sales director for Scotland, Alan Halliday, said: “In an increasingly competitive market, offering consumers a genuine choice of soft drinks with consistent service is crucial, as part of delivering the best customer experience and driving repeat visits.”
And Halliday added that, in such a competitive marketplace, pub operators should make use of their location and space to create more opportunities for soft drink sales.
“Always think about what the next opportunity may be,” he said.
“Can you accommodate mums meeting after play groups in the mornings?
“This example offers a great opportunity for soft drinks sales.”
Image – Only beer and spirits sell more than soft drinks in pubs, according to Britvic.