The opportunity

 RETAILERS are incredibly optimistic about growth in the soft drinks category, and after a summer and autumn of relaxed lockdown restrictions, it’s easy to see why. Seventy per cent of store owners agree or strongly agree there is an opportunity to grow soft drinks sales in the next six months, while 67.5% report they are seeing growth in the category already. 

Britvic has created three  ‘Path to Purchase’ principles to help retailers capitalise on opportunities in soft drinks. Here’s what you need to know.  

Range for now and the future

FROM health and functional needs to sustainability, shoppers’ priorities are always evolving when it comes to buying soft drinks. 

Whether shoppers are looking for drinks to enjoy with food, to provide a boost of energy or to hydrate and relax, retailers should aim to achieve a balanced range to meet consumers’ needs while on-the-go. 

According to Britvic and Newtrade Insight’s new research, 33.8% of retailers say that one of their biggest challenges in selling soft drinks is getting more access to healthier and low-sugar lines. 

A balanced range includes core bestsellers such as Robinsons Ready to Drink, low-and no-sugar options including Pepsi Max and 7UP Free, exciting new products like Tango Sugar Free Dark Berry, and drinks with functional benefits such as Purdey’s. 

Supplier view

Phil Sanders, out-of-home commercial direct of Britvic

 “WE’RE encouraged that this recent research highlighted that 59.4% of retailers consider Britvic to have a range of brands that are important to their business, and that 52.5% of those retailers would actually like to hear more from us. 

“We have always been committed to supporting our customers in the trade – not only by rolling out exciting new products to help grow their sales, but also by offering best-in-class advice and guidance when it comes to navigating trends impacting the soft drinks category.” 

Make fixtures easy to navigate

 EASE of shop is the fourth-most important factor to shoppers when choosing a convenience store1, so it is crucial that retailers signpost their on-the-go range for shoppers in a hurry. By creating a ‘Food-to-go zone’ and grouping meal deal and snack deal items together, stores can do just that. When it comes to soft drinks, the chiller should be segmented so products for similar occasions are grouped together, with the most popular brands stocked at eye-level to make them stand out. 

Adding new products by popular brands can help do this, and 55% of retailers report they have added new soft drinks launches and flavours since lockdown was lifted in July. Around a third are placing emphasis on single bottles to appeal to on-the-go shoppers. 

Price-marked packs (PMP) are also essential to helping shoppers choose between different pricing, with a fifth of stores saying that PMP prices on soft drinks enable them to be competitive. Britvic has updated its 500ml PMP offering to a competitive single price of £1, across its whole no added sugar range including; Pepsi Max, Pepsi Max Cherry & Raspberry, Diet Pepsi, 7UP Free and Tango. 

With 70% of stores intending to stock more PMP soft drinks in the coming months, this move allows retailers to clearly communicate value to their shoppers, at a time when this is so important as a result of the pandemic. 

Link Products

 FIFTY-TWO per cent of shoppers are always on the lookout for a meal deal when buying food to go1, so retailers can boost on-the-go soft drinks sales by creating and clearly highlighting meal deal solutions, encouraging cross-category purchases now and the future. 

In fact, soft drinks are chosen on 35.3% of snacking visits too2, so including a thirst quencher in a bundle with snacks can help boost spend. 

Retailers are incredibly optimistic about the growth in food to go, with a third reporting that in the next six months, sales of food to go won’t just return – they’ll outperform levels seen in 2019 before the pandemic.