Home in on your range!

Related tags Soft drinks Coca-cola

The following article is brought to you by Coca-Cola.Putting the right line-up behind your bar and presenting it well is an essential skill for the...

The following article is brought to you by Coca-Cola.

Putting the right line-up behind your bar and presenting it well is an essential skill for the profit-focused publican.

When Barracuda worked with Coca-Cola Enterprises, the result was a soft drinks range that responded well to customers' changing tastes - while making good business sense at the till.

Profitable range selection isn't a matter of pot luck. It's about making informed decisions. Major brands invest heavily in monitoring, measuring and responding to consumer trends. That information can be really helpful in guiding your choices. But it is your own local knowledge that will guarantee your range choices will meet the needs of your customers.

More customer choice

Imagine a supermarket that failed to stock brand leaders. Business is unlikely to be brisk. And yet this is what the licensed trade has done for years - by failing to offer customers the choice of soft drinks they select elsewhere. Evidence from the off-trade shows that customers want a wider choice and that failure to offer more choice has limited on-trade sales. That's why Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has created 330ml packaging for its hugely popular Sprite and Fanta soft drinks - enabling the publican to meet the more diverse tastes of today.

New sizes

Research also indicates that consumers have become more demanding, more experimental and are showing a preference for longer drinks (Cardinal Research 2001). This trend is driving new and larger spirit masures in many venues. In response, CCE has invested heavily in developing new pack sizes for the on-trade.

  • 1: The Straight Drink​ - A soft drink drunk on its own
  • 2: The 200ml Long Mixer​ - For a larger spirit measure to create a longer drink
  • 3: The 125ml Spirit Mixer​ - For a traditional spirit measure with mixer.

Don't forget your serve!

Even with the right range in place, it's still essential to display and serve soft drinks in an attractive and appealing style - whether from the bottle or draught. The perfect serve adds value to your offer and encourages repeat sales. Combining the right product range with the right serve, leads to positive improvements in your takings. And it's well worth remembering that soft drinks contribute over 11 per cent to your profitability (Retail Pub Estate Confidential 2002).

Putting research into practice

Working with CCE, Barracuda recently reviewed the soft drink offer within its leading Varsity bars (pictured top)​. "We wanted to refine our range by focusing on consumer trends and commercial objectives to improve our offer," said Marketing Manager Myles Doran.

Using plannograms produced by CCE, managers implemented the new stocking policy that introduced some key changes to the range, including:

  • Fanta Orange, Fanta Lemon and Sprite added to enhance a soft drinks offer alongside Coca-Cola, J2O and Red Bull

New 200ml and 125ml packages added to range

Monitoring performance

Auditors have been measuring the effects of Barracuda's new range policy and the results are impressive. Over an two-month period, soft drink sales at The Varsity in Leicester have improved by 54 per cent.

"If there's no choice behind the bar, the only choice is another bar"Culture Research, (July 2002)

Key Messages

  • Offer your customers a choice of drinks from all of the soft drink sectors

Stock the correct Coca-Cola pack for your outlet type

Flavoured carbonates are a development opportunity for pubs

Soft drinks purchase choice by percentage


  • Juices:​ 26.5 per cent
  • Cola:​ 23.8 per cent
  • Flavours:​ 20.8 per cent
  • Squash:​ 9.9 per cent
  • Water:​ 8.6 per cent
  • Other:​ 4.8 per cent
  • Lemonade:​ 3.1 per cent
  • Mixers:​ 2.5 per cent

The wide choice available to consumers off-premise can be beneficial to sales. A lack of choice in licensed is limiting growth.


  • Cola:​ 48 per cent
  • Lemonade:​ 23 per cent
  • Juices:​ 10 per cent
  • Flavours:​ 7 per cent
  • Mixers:​ 5 per cent
  • Squash:​ 4 per cent
  • Water:​ 3 per cent

Pack proposition by outlet type

Outlet type

Straight drinking pack priorities

Mixed drinking pack priorities




Style Bars



Family Pubs



High Street Pubs



Traditional Pubs



Community Pubs



"Coca-Cola", "Coke", "diet Coke", "diet Coca-Cola", "Fanta" and "Sprite" are registered trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company.

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