During 2015, one million more people in the UK chose to eat and drink outside of the home, but with one in five adults choosing not to drink alcohol at all, how can you ensure you maximise every meal time?
According to data from one of Beacon’s leading drinks suppliers, Coca-Cola, soft drinks sales in the on-trade eclipse that of popular alcoholic preferences such as cider and wine. With this data in mind, the importance of providing a soft drinks selection that caters to varying tastes is increasingly important.
In 2014, Scotland’s drink-drive limit was reduced, and with this move expected to be replicated south of the border in the near future, business owners should carefully consider how to maximise revenue through their soft drinks offering, in order to avoid taking a financial hit if alcohol sales do slump. Working alongside expert drinks supplier, Fentimans, Beacon has identified significant room for growth in the premium soft drinks category for the hospitality sector.
Kelley Walker, Category Manager for Drinks at Beacon, commented:
“When the new legislation was introduced in Scotland, some of our customers saw a drop in sales of up to 90%. Should a similar legislation come into force in England, we want to ensure that businesses are prepared for the changes and able to easily adapt in order to thrive.”
Working with our leading suppliers, Coca-Cola and Fentimans, Beacon share advice for businesses to utilise to refresh their soft drinks offering:
Be bold with flavours
Soft drinks do not have to be plain. Mintel’s Attitudes to Premium Soft Drinks report highlighted that one of the main things consumers wanted from soft drinks, was high quality ingredients and a clear difference in taste. Fentimans' has responded to the research with its range of premium soft drinks with flavours such as sparkling lime and jasmine. Experiment with flavours in the same way as you would with alcoholic drinks menus, matching flavours that compliment each other well, in order to develop fresh and exciting beverage solutions.
Cater to the health conscious
With the ever-growing popularity for health foods and the recent announcement of a new sugar tax, businesses and consumers alike are becoming increasingly conscious of making healthier choices. Communicating the healthy aspects of your soft drinks, such as low sugar or zero artificial colours will help to tap into this market and drive sales. As an example, Oranka Juice Solutions has recently launched a range of juices that are free from artificial colours and sweeteners and contain just 2% sugar.
Develop a mocktail menu
The trend for mocktails isn’t necessarily a new one, but is a trend that allows bar managers to up sell on the existing offering and adds a point of difference at the bar. Spend time developing a non-alcoholic cocktail menu that is equally as exciting as the standard cocktail menu, in order to maximise profits on soft drinks.
Fentimans’ Apple and Basil Spritzer recipe
- 20ml elderflower cordial
- ½ a lime
- Five basil leaves
- Five mint leaves
- 30ml Appletiser
- Ice Cubes
- Roll and slap the basil and mint leaves to release the flavour
- Fill a highball glass with the leaves and ice cubes
- Squeeze the juice from the half of lime and shake together with the elderflower cordial in a cocktail shaker
- Strain into the glass
- Top up with 30ml of Appletiser
- Garnish with basil and mint leaves
“Data from Coca-Cola shows us that soft drinks account for 15% of wet sales in the on-trade, but they can often be overlooked by bar and restaurant managers. We’re advising businesses to take the time to invigorate their soft drinks offering so they can cater to varying types of customer and essentially run a more effective and profitable business.”
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