Looks are everything

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Related tags: Soft drinks, Juice, Glass

Martin Hartridge is in little doubt that "branded glassware is all the rage in beer, but what has happened about serving fruit juices in their own...

Martin Hartridge is in little doubt that "branded glassware is all the rage in beer, but what has happened about serving fruit juices in their own branded glasses ­ very little." Yet, as the head of family-run soft drinks supplier Hartridges observes, "looks are everything" to today's consumers. Nor can he understand the reluctance by some licensees to put more of an effort into promoting and properly serving softies. "Licensees can make an excellent profit from soft drinks ­ far more than beer." Such a remark could be construed as adding substance to the argument of those who say that soft drinks are overpriced. Hartridge counters: "This is a perennial issue that we have to deal with. If it is served in a decent size in a decent pub in a branded glass, properly chilled ­ then people won't mind paying a decent price. But if it is a minuscule 4oz fruit juice, served warm in any old glass, in a grotty pub ­ then people will object." Hartridge concurs with Britvic's findings that the November/December period is second only to July/August in sales terms. It also provides a buffer against the traditional slump in trade in the New Year, when sales in January/February fall typically by 50%. He offers this advice as a way of keeping customers satisfied: "If I were a licensee, I would upsize my drinks offerings. We've upsized some of the ranges by 70% from 125ml to 200ml. Typically, that pushes the price up by 20p to £1.20 a serve. Okay, that's slightly less of a gross margin, but a better cash margin and remember ­ you can't bank gross margin." Readers offer Hartridges is offering a pack of 12 branded 360ml glasses to each of the first 20 Morning Advertiser readers who contact the Hampshire-based company. The glasses can be used with plenty of ice for the 200ml ranges of juices and mixers and, with not so much ice, for the 275ml-serve range of fruit juices, the "h" range of mixed fruit flavours, the five flavours in the diet fruits range, and for the four-flavour range of bottled carbonates. Hartridges can be contacted via email www.hartridges.co.uk or 023 9263 2882.

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