While draught drinks are still core to the on-trade, six out of 10 people now prefer packaged drinks, and Britvic has introduced a range of innovations in time for the Christmas period, including Pepsi 300ml glass bottles and J20 orange and cranberry, to create new profit opportunities for licensees.
Cranberry is a classic Christmas flavour, of course, and Britvic launched a 180ml cranberry juice into its mixers range this year as well as introducing the flavour into its fast-growing J20 adult range.
"J20 has consolidated its position with the launch of a new flavour and the successful ENJ2OY summer advertising and sampling campaign," said brand controller Adrian Troy.
"The introduction of orange and cranberry has helped fill a gap in the market."
Britvic 55, the number one selling sparkling juice drink for over 20 years and still growing, will have a new look in time for Christmas, reflecting a modern, more contemporary image and communicating the flavour more prominently, in line with J2O.
In 2000, Britvic acquired Orchid drinks, including Purdey's, Amé and Aqua Libra, and is currently investing in advertising and PR support for the "defined" adult soft drinks.
Amé, the fruit juice, mineral water and herb blend from Japan, is being seen on cinema screens while energy drink Purdey's is following its relaunch with a Christmas campaign that is still under wraps.
Pubs are now a popular destination during the school holidays and licensees should remember to cater for kids, too, by offering soft drinks specifically for the children.
Britvic gives the following advice to maximise seasonal profits:
- promote larger servings of soft drinks. Try calling your smallest draught size "kids'-size" in order to encourage adults to upsize to 16oz glasses or premium packaged soft drinks
- encourage staff to ask your customers if they would like a drink when they order food - a soft drink is consumed with half of all meals
- ensure your packaged soft drinks are served chilled - half of all customers are prepared to pay more for cold drinks
- presentation is important - serve draught in highball glasses with ice and lemon and offer glasses with bottled drinks
- put your premium soft drinks on display in the back-bar area to raise awareness
- use point-of-sale material at the bar and on tables and communicate the soft drinks range as part of the menu, particularly at lunchtimes when customers are less likely to want alcohol
- use hot spots and blackboards away from the bar to promote new soft drinks
- offer buckets of soft drinks for a set price or as part of meal deals, especially at peak times.
- communicate price points clearly where extra value or deals are offered, for example using chalkboards
- children become brand aware at an early age - offer them a specific kids' selection of the biggest brands.
Support the trade charity
While you're making sure everything else is in readiness, don't forget the Christmas cards - and now you can buy your cards and help licensed trade charity Hospitality Action at the same time.
For every card you buy, 20p goes towards financial assistance, support and advice for two million people across the industry who have fallen on hard times. That means, if everyone in the industry was to buy just one pack of 10 cards, starting at £2.99, it would raise £4m!
To view the designs go to www.kingsmeadcards.co.uk/ha and place your business order by calling 01372 459579.