Softs to see a seasonal spike

Popularity of spirits set to boost mixer sales in coming weeks

Licensees offering creative soft drink serves stand to benefit most, says Britvic

SOFT drinks and mixers represent a real sales opportunity for operators this Christmas with new research showing over a fifth of people plan to drink less alcohol over the festive period – and, for those who will be drinking, spirits are set to be the number one choice.

According to the survey from soft drinks giant Britvic, almost half (45%) of consumers are set to buy more soft drinks at Christmas with over a fifth (21%) saying they plan to drink less alcohol.

Over half (54%) of those that will be drinking alcohol this Christmas said their drink of choice will be spirits, which Britvic said represents a further sales opportunity as almost two thirds (63%) of spirits drinkers use mixers.

The survey, which polled 2000 adults last month, also revealed that almost a quarter (21%) of consumers don’t think there are enough premium soft drinks to choose from; this increased to 27% amongst 25 to 34 year olds.

Offering a range of inspiring serves will help operators cater for this peak in demand.

With 37% of those surveyed saying they plan to spend more on soft drinks this Christmas than previous years – a figure which increased to 56% of consumers aged 16 to 24 – Britvic said sales of soft drinks look set to soar this Christmas.

Russell Goldman, commercial director for licensed and foodservice at Britvic, whose portfolio includes the Juices and Mixers ranges as well as fruit drink brand J20, advised operators to ensure their bar is “fully stocked with an enticing and great-tasting selection” of soft drinks and mixers in order to fully capitalise on the seasonal sales opportunity.

“It’s clear from our research that there’s going to be a real shift towards moderate drinking this Christmas and, as a result, there is likely to be a high demand for soft drinks throughout the season,” he said.

“Offering a range of inspiring serves and using products like [flavoured syrups] to create sensational experiences for customers, both with and without alcohol, will enable leisure operators to cater for this peak in demand over the festive period.”