Booze Free Christmas
Drinking alcohol at Christmas isn’t for everyone. Whether a designated driver or choosing an alcohol-free lifestyle, making sure you have a varied range of soft drinks available to suit both children and adults is essential.
What do consumers want
At Christmas, consumers buying habits alter; customers are looking for great alcohol-free alternatives to the traditional festive wine and spirits. With this in mind, this Christmas your soft drinks should be:
• Perfectly served – both at the bar and when part of a meal
• Provide sharing opportunities – both when drinking straight or as a mixer
• Include key brands of choice
• Include premium options and something different
Promoting and letting consumers know what ranges of soft drinks you have available is critical to making sales. According to research, 51% of consumers who tried new drinks last Christmas were influenced by promotions or advertisements, so make sure you have all the relevant POS material clearly displayed where customers can see it.
Inspire your drinkers
Christmas is a time for indulgence, so when customers go out and about enjoying the occasion, they want something special to sup. Customers want luxury products so the festivities present an opportunity to upsell and give them a better drinking experience than just the year-round standard ones. Dark fruits such as blackberries and blueberries are popular at Christmas, or why not add spice flavours to standard fruit juices to create a festive flavour? London Essence mixers have a range of flavours perfect to be served solo, while allowing operators to charge a premium price. Its spiced ginger beer and delicate ginger ale both suit festive flavours, while its their rhubarb and cardamom and elderberry and hibiscus-crafted sodas both make a refreshing and inspiring change to a standard fizzy drink. With more adults choosing alcohol-free drinks, mocktails are still as popular as ever, and need to stand out on your bar this Christmas. Not only do they make for a more exciting serve, they look the same as a cocktail so the customer feels they are sharing the same experience, but without the booze.
Serve for success
You should give the same amount of care and attention to a non alcoholic drink as an alcoholic one. If your customers are impressed and interested by the look and serve of a drink then they are more likely to order it – and pay a premium price. It’s important to make sure your serve matches the experience you want your guests to have. Therefore, make sure you use the correct glassware so they look the same as alcoholic drinks and use the best ingredients, mixers and garnishes so they taste delicious.
Diet Coke is the number one lights drink brand in Great Britain*. Last year Diet Coke NPD flavours contributed £20m and were bought by 3.6m households**. Therefore, to respond to what customers want at Christmas, stocking and selling Diet Coke is a must. This year there’s a Clementine flavour option – with Clementine the sixth most strongly associated flavour with Christmas after turkey, mince pies, cinnamon, cranberries and chocolate*** and a high purchase intent of 45% of the total population**.
Adult soft drinks such as J2O, Old Jamaica Ginger Beer, Appletiser and Shloer offer an alternative for those adults who want something different to a coke, and allow you to charge a premium price. The Adult Special category is in growth and worth nearly £4m**** at Christmas, as its share doubles in December. Appletiser sales grew 40% in volume last year and at Christmas its value share grew by more than 20%, so make sure you have these drinks available – and use POS and staff to promote them and make the customer aware.
For those who want the taste of beer or cider without the bad head, there are plenty of great tasting options. Beers like Heineken 0.0 and Peroni Libera are 0% and in the low category there are some cracking brews – Brewdog Nanny State, Erdinger Weizen Alkoholfrei and low alcohol Old Speckled Hen to name but three. For cider drinkers, AG Barr’s new St. Clement’s adult soft drinks are inspired by the taste of cider, with Apple & Pear and Raspberry & Blackcurrant satisfying demand for fruity flavours.