Rethink Your Drinks
Demand for no and low sugar drinks has never been higher, fuelled by consumers wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle and government intervention – targeting obesity – which aims to remove 200,000 tonnes of sugar per year from the UK diet by 2020 according to new guidelines released by Public Health England. The demand is there, so how best to capitalise on it?
Drink habits are changing
The Soft Drinks Levy, effective from April 2018, will impact upon drinks with sugar content of 5% or more and current media publicity is already focusing consumer attention on how much sugar some drinks contain. Allied to this, ever increasing numbers of drinkers are making choices based upon the provenance and healthy living credentials of what’s on offer. Indeed, for Millennials, wellness is a daily, active pursuit. Together, these influences are creating a ‘perfect storm’ for brands and operators who do not have a comprehensive range of no/low sugar drinks available.
What are manufacturers doing?
Manufacturers have recognised that the last thing non drinkers want is to spend the evening drinking sugar filled soft drinks and fruit juices. There has therefore been a whole raft of new no and low sugar product launches.
What can you do
Provide a great experience – people want to socialise and have fun, so give them a great choice and experience by:
• Provide choice – have POS and blackboards dedicated to no and low sugar choices.
• Display – have a dedicated area behind the bar where you display all your no/low drinks options, as well as the range grouped together in a chiller.
• Drink menu – have no/low sugar drinks grouped by category on your drinks menu: plain and flavoured waters; juices and soft drinks. And don’t forget to have premium options – consumers are more than willing to pay extra for something special.
• Cocktail menu – your cocktail menu should include low/no alcoholic variants, in addition to exclusive mocktails to avoid non drinkers feeling that they are not being catered for.
• Provide calorie information – something a number of outlets have recently adopted.
• Use the best quality – use top quality glassware, branding and interesting garnishes like sliced grapes and ginger, candied fruits, cinnamon sticks and star anise, as well as the classics. Think about using local fruits and herbs too – they add a special touch that customers will appreciate.
• Innovate with ice – Frozen fruits and herbs in your ice cubes are appealing, cheap, easy and fun!
• Food pairing – Have no/low food and drink pairing suggestions on your food menus.
• Train your staff – Research by Britvic shows that 64% of consumers are likely to order a soft drink special if recommended by staff and 60% would order a second drink if given great service. The perfect serve is all-important!
Sources: Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2015, CGA Research