Health and quality key going forward

Soft drinks can “plug alcohol gap” for the trade this year, says report

Moderate drinking presents a chance to grow soft drinks sales in venues, according to Britvic

CONTINUED consumer shift towards healthier living and rising demand for more premium experiences in the licensed trade presents operators with an opportunity to grow sales of soft drinks, according to Britvic’s 2018 Soft Drinks Review.

While the report, quoting figures from CGA, revealed soft drinks sales suffered a marginal drop of 0.4% in the UK’s licensed venues in 2017, the firm said that by tapping into key customer trends overall venue revenues can be raised through soft drinks.

The opportunity in healthier products was demonstrated by the growth of low and no-sugar options over the past year, with these products adding £104 million of sales to the soft drinks category, while the no-sugar cola market swelled by 57%.

The annual review also supported the now-familiar claim that while consumers are going out less often, they want superior experiences and products when they do; resulting in premium soft drink sales growing by almost a third (31%).

As one in three adults are now said to be moderating their alcohol intake, and one in five are teetotal, according to figures from the ONS, the report said that the “mindful drinking trend should be a big focus for operators”.

The ‘zero proof’ category (non-alcoholic substitute drinks), was acknowledged to have become more visible in the trade and was helping to deliver better non-alcoholic experiences at a premium price point.

The review recommended that licensees raise “the standard of products offered, focusing on quality ingredients”, and provide that through “an elevated serve that consumers are willing to pay more for”.

Russell Goldman, commercial director, foodservice and licensed at Britvic GB, said: “We know how competitive it is out there for outlets, particularly in the licensed channel, so focusing on getting their soft drinks offer right should be a big area of focus and at Britvic we are working hard to help our customers drive profit through their soft drinks sales.

“We believe that the combination of our category insights, broad catalogue of brands and investment in innovation and marketing perfectly places us to help customers win.

“By getting their soft drinks range right, tailoring it to their customers’ specific needs and creating premium experiences with sensational drinks, operators can grow their profits through the soft drinks category.”