The survey of operators from across the fine dining, casual dining, pub and hotel sectors, found that 73 per cent believe soft drinks to be an area of growth, but many are not sure how to maximise on the potential this area offers.
Alcohol consumption, particularly among 18-24 year-olds, is continuing to decline, meaning there is a chance for the trade to boost sales of innovative and non-alcoholic options. However, half of all operators stock less than 10 different soft drinks brands and only 7 per cent stock 20 or more.
Restaurant, hotel and pub staff are also found to be lacking in support for selling soft drinks with 51 per cent of operators expecting staff to up-sell or promote soft drinks yet only 28 per cent had offered training in this area.
Britvic’s senior shopper marketing manager, Russell Kirkham, said as consumer interest and awareness of soft drinks was at an ‘all-time high’ operators should be devoting as much time ‘fine-tuning’ their range as they would with their food or alcohol offerings.
“Soft drinks are no longer just for the ‘designated driver’ – we’re seeing drinkers opt for soft drinks increasingly across a variety of social occasions, especially with food. Supplementing your soft drinks range with more premium adult soft drinks, including a selection of innovative flavours, will ensure that non- alcohol-drinkers don’t feel like they are ‘missing out’ and will allow them to still take part in a round of drinks with friends.”
Cocktails vs. Mocktails
Kirkham said there was also the potential for hotel, restaurant and pub operators to redress the balance between alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.
According to research, currently 55 per cent of outlets sell cocktails compared to just 33 per cent selling mocktails.
“Just as with alcohol, you can enhance and personalise the premium soft drink experience and deliver better value and taste perception by serving them in branded glassware (where relevant) with ice and the correct garnish,” he said.
“There’s a huge opportunity to capture the attention of your customers by showcasing soft drinks as an exciting and positive alternative to alcoholic drinks and inviting them to step into a more sophisticated adult soft drink space in pub environments. If your soft drinks range isn’t catering for all tastes, occasions and price points, you could be missing out on significant sales opportunities.”
Britvic Soft Drinks is one of the UK’s leading soft drinks manufacturers and is dedicated to creating and building brands such as Pepsi, Robinsons, Tango and J₂O into household names.