Seasonal serves must appeal to all

A refreshing range extends beyond beer and cider, say drinks firms

Frozen serves are said to be an important consideration to an outlet’s summer drinks lists as they can offer licensees a straightforward upsell

WHILE there’s no denying the appeal of a cold pint on a hot summer’s day, nowadays operators must consider all elements of their drinks range in order to benefit from a summer sales boost.

That was the message from drinks firms, who told SLTN that alternative drink options, such as frozen serves, low and no-sugar and soft drinks, are key to success.

Emma Hunt, marketing director at Vimto Out of Home, producer of frozen cocktail brand Fryst, said summer “is definitely frozen drinks season”.

“The weather heats up and consumers look for refreshment that not only helps them cool down, but provides an experience,” she said.

“When simply offering a menu of your usual soft drinks isn’t going to cut it anymore, frozen drinks offer a straightforward, high margin option for publicans.”

The importance of offering a varied range of refreshing serves was underlined by Amy Burgess, senior trade communications manager at Coca-Cola European Partners.

She said: “Refreshment is a key priority during the summer as people look to enjoy long drinks served over ice.”

Burgess added that best selling brand favourites should be given pride of place during bouts of warm weather – and operators should stock “more premium adult soft drinks” in their range too.

“It’s worth keeping stocks high during this time, with as wide a choice of products as possible, taking into account a range of different sectors, variants and pack formats to appeal to every consumer taste,” she said.

This was echoed by Hunt of Vimto Out of Home, who said: “When putting together a summer drinks menu, it’s essential to offer a wide range of choice.”

When putting together a summer drinks menu, it’s essential to offer a wide range of choice.

Fruity flavours will be the order of the day for many customers this summer, reckons Christian Sarginson, brand controller at Global Brands, parent company of Hooch and craft soda brand Crooked Beverage Co.

“As the warmer weather approaches, preferences often shift to refreshing products with fruity flavours,” he said.

“Summer is undoubtedly a great time to tempt consumers with new and interesting serves. From exciting creations and names to fruity, fresh tastes.”

However, regardless of what range is offered, customers will only return if drinks are appropriately served, according to Hunt of Vimto Out of Home.

She explained: “The perfect serve needs quality glassware and garnishes, and even a chilled glass so that customers feel the drink has been prepared, not just poured.”

Karen Green, marketing manager at Aimia Foods, which produces milkshake brand Shmoo, said that operators should look to make “sustainably smart choices” when it comes to the vessels drinks are served in too.

Top tips for summer

Stock a range of drinks, both low and zero-sugar, as well as those with sugar to offer that all important choice.

Open up opportunity with frozen drinks: when simply offering a menu of usual soft drinks isn’t going to cut it, frozen drinks offer a straightforward, high margin option for operators.

Serve with style: use quality glassware and summery garnishes to add a premium, seasonal feel to your drinks.

– Vimto Out of Home.