In the past few years, we’ve seen a boom in adult soft drinks and soft drinks; sales are now worth £1.5bn in Britain according to market researcher IRI.  Guests are increasingly becoming more health conscious and opting for soft drinks with premium flavours and provenance. It is therefore important to be armed with the latest trends and prepared with the right range so that you can meet this growing demand.

Premium Upgrade Opportunities

Premium brands are driving growth in adult soft drinks, but there’s still a huge opportunity to grow this further. Following the ‘health conscious’ trend, and the implementation of the sugar tax, high-sugar drinks are now seen as indulgent beverages to be consumed as an occasional treat. Therefore, the category has seen a shift towards quality and authenticity.

Despite this growth, premium drinks only account for 7% of total soft drinks sales. In contrast, premium beer holds a 43% share of total beer sales, and premium spirits brands account for 30% of total spirit sales. When serving guests, team members should take advantage of upgrade opportunities by providing premium serve suggestions.

Product Ranging

Getting the soft drinks range right is a crucial factor to impressing your guests. 66% of guests would welcome a wider range of adult soft drinks according to the Britvic 2017 Soft Drinks report. Some trending key flavour and styles include:

  • Soft drinks containing natural botanical ingredients
  • Zero & sugar-free drinks
  • Drinks containing savoury and spicy flavours – turmeric and ginger are on the rise
  • Cold brew and cold press drinks

Food-Led Opportunities

Pairing soft drinks with food is another opportunity to further increase sales. After wine, soft drinks are the second most popular drink to accompany a meal. In addition, 76% of consumers rated the choice of soft drinks as ‘very important’ in the overall meal experience, according to Carlsberg On Trade Insight Report 2018.

As well as matching your food menu to wine and beer, think about having a soft drink option too. Ask team members to recommend a soft drink with your guests’ meal if alcohol isn’t being consumed rather than offering tap water.

Non Alcoholic Alternatives

Alcohol free drinkers are on the rise as guests are increasingly embracing sobriety due to concerns about the potential damage of alcohol. This opens up the opportunity for no or low alcohol alternatives to appeal to the mindful drinkers who don’t want to consume alcohol but still want the same taste experiences.

Heineken have seen huge success with their non-alcoholic beer Heineken 0.0 since it launched in 2017. They suggest that rather than cannibalising other beers, it opens up more occasions such as lunches and guests who are driving. Seedlip has also sparked interest as the first non- alcoholic spirit, providing an alternative to Gin. Since its launch in 2015, Seedlip is now being served in 15 international cities as the solution to “what to drink when you’re not drinking”.

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