In the first of a new series of category management features, we team up with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) to get the lowdown on the critical soft drinks category: the latest trends, the biggest opportunities, the longer-term challenges and more.

Soft drinks is a massively important category for all venues, and the information below is drawn from CCEP’s latest Category Vision, entitled ‘Refresh Tomorrow’. Ultimately, the Vision distils down years of experience, insight and data to deliver a roadmap that can help the soft drinks category unlock £3bn of additional sales between now and 2025.

GROWTH DRIVERS

Refresh Tomorrow highlights four particularly important drivers for Greene King customers, the ones that will drive the biggest sales growth:

  • Healthier Choices. Choosing healthier and nutritious drinks to increase wellbeing
  • Enjoy With Food. Enhancing the meal ritual with drinks to accompany everyday food, special meals & snacking
  • Enjoy Socialising. Enriching socialising and celebratory events with distinctive and premium drinks
  • Responsible Living. Buying ethically conscious beverages to live responsibly.

These drivers are, of course, interlinked in many ways and provide a solid base for you when reviewing and updating the range you buy in for your venue.

According to CCEP’s Refresh Tomorrow vision, there are four big opportunities for Greene King customers to win with soft drinks.

OPPORTUNITY ONE: ENERGY DRINKS

Energy Drinks are worth £235m in the On Trade and, according to Neilsen CGA research data, are growing by +7%.

Energy drinks provide an opportunity to unlock incremental sales and drive recruitment by attracting a younger consumer.

  • ENERGY DRINKS: KEY FACTS
  • Energy Drinks over-index by 140 with under 34yos (Kantar Worldpanel, Total OOH, 52we to 16.04.23)
  • +14p and command a higher average price vs. other Soft Drinks (Nielson, Total GB, MAT to 22.04.23)
  • 1 in 5 would like to see more flavoured Energy Drinks available in pubs and bars (One Pulse, 500 Consumers, Apr’23)
  • 73% of consumers have enjoyed an Energy Drink alongside a meal or snack (One Pulse, 500 Consumers, Apr’23)
  • 78% would like t see Energy Drinks included in meal deals in pubs and bars (One Pulse, 500 Consumers, Apr’23)

HOW CONSUMERS ARE ENJOYING ENERGY DRINKS IN PUBS AND BARS

  • 59% on its own
  • 47% as a mixer
  • 11% in a cocktail.

UNLOCKING THE OPPORTUNITY WITH MONSTER ENERGY

  • Monster is the fastest growing of the Top 3 Energy brands (Nielsen & CGA, Total Market, MAT to Feb ’23)
  • Its ‘Juiced’ range attracts both younger and more female consumers than the average energy drink (Energy Audience USA, May 2022)
  • Unlock the Energy opportunity with the Monster range: Monster Energy, Mango Loco, Pipeline Punch.

 

OPPORTUNITY TWO: FLAVOURED SODAS

Soda is worth £16n in the On Trade, and growing by +10% according to research by Nielsen CGA.

SODA TAPS INTO THE TREND OF LONG DRINK CONSUMPTION AND LESS SWEET DRINKS

  • 20-29yos over-index with soda, leading to a recruitment opportunity for the category (Connecta, Mixers USA Research 2021)
  • +612% vs. 2012. The growth in flavoured gin sales demonstrates how consumers are seeking new and interesting flavours (IWSR Flavoured Gin Value Sales, 2012-2021, Top 10 countries)
  • Flavoured sodas are still being established in the on trade, but have grown by 41% in the last year (Nielsen CGA, On Premise, Value & Value % Growth, MAT to Mar ’23)
  • 1 in 4 consumers would choose soda as the mixer for their drink in pubs and bars (One Pulse, 500 consumers, Apr ’23).

UNLOCKING THE OPPORTUNITY WITH SCHWEPPES

  • Schweppes is the number one soda brand in the UK, and growing by +26% (Nielsen CGA, On Premise, MAT to Feb’23)
  • 82% of consumers would be interested in trying new Schweppes Sodas (One Pulse, 500 Consumers, Apr’23)
  • Schweppes Sodas were created through taking inspiration from summer memories – the emotions, experiences and tastes
  • Unlock the soda opportunity with the new Schweppes Soda range: Melon, Watermelon / Coconut & Peach.

OPPORTUNITY THREE: LIGHT COLAS

Light Cola is worth £1.1bn in the On Trade, and growing by +22% according to Neilsen CGA data.


Through delivering the brands consumers love, and serving perfectly, the Cola sector has the opportunity to increase dwell time.

LIGHT COLAS: KEY FACTS

  • 8 in 10 consumers drink Cola in pubs and bars (One Pulse, 500 Consumers, Apr’23)
  • Light Colas account for 55% of all Cola sales in the On Trade (Nielsen CGA, On Premise, MAT to Feb’23)
  • Over 50% of consumers would pick a Light Cola over Regular if given the choice (One Pulse, 500 Consumers, Apr’23)
  • 73% specify they want a Sugar Free variant when ordering a soft drink, and 57% when ordering a spirit and mixer (One Pulse, 500 Consumers, Dec’22).

WHY IS THE WAY LIGHT COLA IS SERVED SO IMPORTANT?

According to One Pulse data (500 Consumers, Apr’23):

  • 78% of Cola drinkers say having it served perfectly improves the overall experience
  • 72% say having it served perfectly would encourage them to have another drink and/or return to that venue in the future.

UNLOCKING THE OPPORTUNITY WITH LIGHT COLAS

  • 6 in every 10 Light Colas sold in the on-trade is a Coke product (Nielsen CGA, On Premise, MAT to Feb’23)
  • 70% of consumers would choose a Coca-Cola branded Light Cola if given the choice (One Pulse, 500 Consumers, Apr’23).

Unlock the Light Cola opportunity by ranging Diet Coke, the #1 Sugar Free Cola brand and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, the fastest growing Cola brand (Nielsen CGA, On Premise, MAT to Feb’23).

OPPORTUNITY FOUR: KIDS’ DRINKS

Kids’ drinks are worth £133m in the On Trade and, according to Nielsen CGA data, are growing by +28%.

Delivering for families by ensuring you have the right range of kids’ drinks has the opportunity to unlock longer dwell time.

KIDS’ DRINKS: KEY FACTS

  • 1 in 4 pub and bar occasions are families (Lumina Intelligence EDOP, Sept ’22)
  • 58% of parents go to pubs and bars regularly, or fairly often, with their kids. Those with one or two children are most likely to do this (One Pulse, 500 consumers, Apr’23).

WHAT DO PARENTS TELL US?

  • 4 in 10 parents would choose a kids juice drink for their child while at a pub or bar (One Pulse, 500 consumers, May’23)
  • 71% of parents prefer to buy ‘no added sugar’ (NAS) juice drinks for their kids (UK Insights 2022).

UNLOCKING THE OPPORTUNITY WITH CAPRI SUN

According to One Pulse data (500 Consumers, May ’23), 1 in 3 parents would choose Capri-Sun for their kids in pubs and bars (when asked vs. Fruit Shoot or ‘no preference’

The top three reasons parents tell us they’d choose Capri Sun over other kids’ juice drinks are:

  • The great taste and flavours
  • They see it as healthier
  • Their kids simply prefer it!

Unlock the kids drinks opportunity by ranging Capri-Sun Orange 200ml, Capri-Sun Apple & Blackcurrant 200ml, Capri-Sun Orange NAS 200ml and Capri-Sun Apple & Blackcurrant NAS 200ml.

Find out more about winning with soft drinks at MyCCEP.