< Back to news 12 April, 2018

Dry Summer Predicted for British Drinkers

Research from our suppliers, and Purchasing Manager Kelley Walker suggests Millennials are driving a teetotal trend. The growing trend for alcohol-free drinking is predicted to have a big impact this summer, of which operators need to take note, to adapt their soft drinks offering to meet this new drinking behaviours.

Kelley Walker, Purchasing Manager at Beacon, shares insight and recommendations for operators: “We know from industry data that 70% of Millennials are more likely to brag about how long it has been since they last drank alcohol, as opposed to how much alcohol they last drank. That is a notable social shift and one that our supplier Oranka Juice Solutions predicts will also result in an increasing number of adults becoming teetotal too. kelley

“As the popularity of healthy living and reduced alcohol consumption continues, it is crucial for operators to expand their soft drinks offering so they can cater for this new and growing band of consumers who still want to drink out, but drink less too.”

Making the most of mocktails

One way in which operators are able to enhance the appeal of their soft drinks range to customers is by expanding their mocktail offering. By using ingredients that operators already stock, such as syrups, juices and mixers, customers are able to select many new exciting choices at little expense to operators. We would also recommend taking this opportunity to introduce interesting new and popular flavours, which are seen as higher quality, such as elderflower, peach and redberry, as these can add value to mocktails and enable operators to increase their drinks prices.

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A high rise in low calorie options

As the health trend continues to play a prominent part in consumers’ decision-making process, the drinks market in general is seeing many adults opt for lower calorie alternatives. Insight from our supplier Brakes shows that, in terms of YOY volume growth of soft drinks, full sugar drinks have seen a 1.4% increase whereas low calorie drinks have seen much larger growth of 14.6% (March 16 vs March 17), highlighting that the trend for a healthy drink is already evident. This, combined with the recent implementation of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, means that it is essential to take consumer habits into account when selecting your soft drinks to help drive sales.

Consumers opting for lower calorie alternatives could prove beneficial to operators, giving them the opportunity to adjust their prices and differentiate between low and full sugar options, with minimal detrimental effect. Communicate your options clearly, highlighting the health benefits for an added appeal, as well as offering a great selection of juices and carbonated drinks options.

Offer a premium experience

Further insight from Heineken UK shows that customers are more concerned with purchasing an experience, as opposed to a product. In addition to this, The Morning Advertiser’s “2018 Drinks List” also highlights that whilst consumers may be drinking less overall, when they do go out, they are seeking rich experience and drink choices. Therefore, operators must ensure that alongside a varied soft drinks range, they can also offer a complete premium soft drinks experience. This can be achieved by focusing on high quality, innovative glassware, as well as simple, fresh garnishes and great quality ingredients. The perfect serve is vital to creating a quality brand and return visits.

One of our leading suppliers, Coca-Cola, advises that another way to satisfy the premiumisation trend in the soft drinks market is through personalisation. Customers like to be asked what glass they would like with their drink and what garnish they prefer. Therefore, we would advise operators to be ready to offer a range of popular, but innovative, options for customers to create their ideal drink experience.”

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Kelley continues: “Insight demonstrating a decrease in alcoholic purchases creates an opportunity for operators to capitalise on the latest consumer trend. By offering a wide range of healthy soft drinks and a varied mocktail menu as part of an overall premium experience, consumers will be enticed to spend their time, and money, in establishments which they feel cater personally to them.”

Further insight from Beacon Supplier Molson Coors highlights two specific drink trends for operators to look out for this summer to boost beer garden profits...

"Fruit ciders, often thought of as drinks for warm days to be enjoyed al fresco, have exploded in popularity over the last five years and their growth shows little sign of letting up. To make the most of this opportunity, we would recommend offering a wide range of ciders. A strong selection would range from core brands which are familiar with consumers, through to more premium fruit and flavoured varieties, which both inspire choice and offer the opportunity to trade up.

Operators should also look to tailor their beer offering by giving due prominence to beer in their fridges and on the bar – as well as by advertising their beer range on blackboards outside the pub. Beers with a lower ABV, such as Pravha, compliments a cider offering for consumers with less of a sweet tooth. The iconic Czech yeast used in the brewing process helps to deliver a perfect summer afternoon pint, creating a finish which is unexpectedly crisp, light and refreshing."

For more information about how we could help your business, please click here or call the team on 01904 69558. Why not follow us on Twitter @Beacon_YPP.