Schwartz September 2019

Water Makes the Biggest Splash

Bottled water is the fastest growing sector of the soft drinks market.

On the increase in sales and popularity, customers are selecting bottled water as their drink of choice when eating OOH – from takeaway outlets to dining in, water needs to make a big splash within your drinks options.

On the menu

Water, like wine, should be listed on your drinks menu. Make sure you include all sizes too and the different ranges – some customers will pay a higher premium for what they think is a better brand. For example San Pellegrino’s green glass bottle, with its unique “Vichy” silhouette is an elegant and sophisticated shape, so would work well in a restaurant or hotel. Customers, quite rightly, want to have as much choice in the water they drink as the wine they choose. And, just like the wine market, there will always be extremities. The five-star Merchant Hotel in Belfast recently hit the headlines with a dedicated water menu, with the most expensive bottle costing an eye-watering £26.45 a pop.

Takeaway

Make sure your water offering is as clear for customers to see as your other soft drinks. Prime position in the fridge or even on the  counter will help generate sales, and if you are doing offers with sandwiches and drinks, include water as an option. Drive sales of 750ml and 1 ltr bottles instead of the usual 330ml and 500ml by encouraging customers to buy a bigger bottle that they can take away to finish at home or work.

Health benefits

More customers are conscious of what they – and their children – are drinking OOH, so the pressure is on for producers/brands and operators to provide a range of low calorie and low and no added sugar options – and this is where water fits the bill perfectly. There is nothing better than water as a healthy option (still and sparkling) and by demonstrating that you have a good range gives a clear message to the customer that you are taking their health seriously. This will also win over non-drinking customers.

All in the flavour

Flavoured water is growing in popularity; growing 92% year on year. It ticks the boxes of those consumers who aren’t a fan of pure water but still want a healthy drink. Most flavoured waters contain low calorie sweeteners and sometimes fruit juice, so from a health point of view not as healthy as pure water, but they do contain essential vitamins and minerals.

Boost sales

Where appropriate, ask customers if they’d prefer their water served with ice and a slice of lemon. Not only will it liven up a simple drink, the customer will be impressed by your initiative. Have a bit of fun with your water – a board advertising water and encouraging customers ‘to make a splash’ with weekly Mocktails will increase sales of water and make it more exciting. Highland Spring have the Highland Sparkling Spritz mocktail – orange juice, cranberry juice, elderflower and sparkling water, but you can make up your own menu to suit the seasons. Both will appeal to the non-drinkers too and show customers that drinks of importance need not be just alcoholic ones.

Strathmore’s Top Selling Tips

Ask customers if they would like water with their food or wine Serve the water chilled but with ice at customer’s request only Pour water into a clean glass, half fill, and present to customer with bottle and glass together Offer lemon or lime when serving over the bar, or place slices of each on a side plate at the table Remove empty bottles from the table. Ask the customer if they would like a repeat order.

Flavoured water is growing in popularity 92% year-on-year growth

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