You can still download our top tips here, but in the meantime here’s a summary:
Rise of the teetotaler
Back in January we took a look at how to capitalise on the rising numbers of those choosing not to drink alcohol. We know that soft drinks are no longer just for the designated driver or those on a New Year health kick, but that drinkers are opting for soft drinks over alcohol across a variety of social occasions. In fact, one in five adults (rising to one in three in London) do not drink alcohol at all, and the number of young people aged 16-25 choosing not to drink has increased by 40 per cent over the last decade.
To make the most of this increased interest in soft drinks and to encourage trade-up, supplement your draught and packaged range of key brands such as Pepsi MAX, Tango and 7UP with premium adult soft drinks like multivitamin fruit drink Purdey’s to keep your offering fresh and stimulating for teetotal customers. Including a selection of innovative flavours and serves - such as Lipton Ice Tea served in a jam jar with citrus fruit wheels, a garnish and a paper straw - 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.
Britvic Business Builder, Nick Harding of Luke’s Eating House & Gin Rickey’s in Chester, agrees: “Our drinkers want an experience now, not just a single drink, so they’re looking for brands with a story and a character behind them, and flavour is also really important. Purdey’s is bang on-trend with our customers who are looking for something bit more premium and with an interesting but refreshing flavour.”
Out and about with family and friends
As spring approached we explored the new occasions the season brings, as family and friends headed out to restaurants all over the country to treat themselves for occasions such as Mother’s Day and the spring bank holiday. It’s crucial that you draw large parties inside on these occasions with enticing offers, marketing and social media promotion. At-table or on-bar materials can help to increase dwell time and boost spend even further.
Again, premium soft options should be available to appeal to drinkers looking for something different and sophisticated as they socialise in large groups. With its lightly sparkling liquid and subtle flavours of its three tasty variants, J₂O Spritz provides an elegant alcohol-free alternative that’s a perfect accompaniment to food. With the frequency of eating out occasions growing by +3 per cent, drinks such as J₂O Spritz should be a key part of any range.
But soft drinks aren’t just for those opting out of alcohol; they also play an important role in mixed drinks and cocktails to bring new flavours into classic recipes at celebratory occasions. We launched our range of Teisseire Barman syrups last year to do just that, with an extensive range to create your own bespoke cocktails that excite drinkers and drive trade-up. Presentation is key – appropriate glassware and garnishes are small investments in time and money which can really help to enhance the drinker’s experience and inspire repeat purchase. Teisseire syrups make it easy to experiment with new recipes and by introducing doubling-up promotions or cocktail pitchers you can cover the extra minute or two it takes bar staff to make a cocktail compared with pulling a pint.
Harding says: “Think about it – simply by mixing lemonade, for example, with a syrup or another flavoured soft drink, adding a garnish and serving in attractive glassware you can create incremental opportunity in terms of price. We notice a domino effect – if people see other drinkers with a particularly eye-catching mocktail or cocktail they want to order it themselves too. The potential is huge so it’s definitely worth the extra time and effort to create a full experience that will see customers coming back for more.”
Celebrate the summer of soft
Longer evenings, warmer weather and bank holiday weekends all contribute to making summer a busy time for the trade. The UK consumer officially became more social in 2015, with 1 million more UK adults choosing to eat and drink out of the home, and we envisage this trend continuing through the summer as the sunshine tempts people outdoors.
But all is not lost if the good old British summer doesn’t quite deliver – in fact we know from last year’s relatively poor summer that despite the washout, soft drinks remained the fourth most valuable beverage category in licensed, after beer, spirits and wine and Champagne. So whatever the summer brings, make sure you are equipped to offer drinkers a full range of soft drinks for all tastes and consumer types.
Serve classic carbonates with ice and a garnish to guarantee a cool and refreshing drinking experience and encourage repeat purchase. Premiumisation within the category is also a huge trend with an impressive 75 per cent year-on-year growth in premium soft drinks in the licensed trade, so your summer soft drinks range should include options at all price points.
Following extensive research and development to ensure the right flavour combination to drive sales in your outlet Britvic recently launched J₂O’s latest limited edition which is perfectly placed for summer drinking. Available now until September, on-trade exclusive J2O Flamingo Fling is attracting new consumers into the category with its seductive blend of delicate, crisp white grapes and succulent, floral lychees.
Harding certainly sees a noticeable uplift in soft drink sales during the summer. “We tend to see a sales spike of at least 35-40 per cent within the category during the summer – both as standalone soft drinks and as use in mixers – so it really is an important time for us. J₂O Flamingo Fling has absolutely flown since we introduced it to the range – our customers love the summery and tropical flavour and the bottle design is really eye-catching. We ordered 10 cases to start with and have been reordering ever since!”
Click here to download more soft drinks sales help and advice. You can also visit www.PourMoreFlavour.co.uk for more information including an array of tasty alcoholic and non-alcoholic recipes and serves to ensure the sun shines on your soft drink sales this summer.
 Health and Social Care Information Centre, Statistics on Alcohol 2015
 M&C Allegra Top of Mind debrief, Feb 2016.
 M&C Allegra Top of Mind debrief, Feb 2016
 Britvic Soft Drinks Review – Leisure, 2016
 CGA brand index, total on premise, value sales, 52we 26/12.2015