Soft Drinks - Going with the on-trade flow

By Martin Hartridge

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Soft drinks Drink Alcoholic beverage

Martin Hartridge, managing director of Hartridges Soft Drinks, offers his views on the soft-drinks market. Soft drinks seem to be low down on the...

Martin Hartridge, managing director of Hartridges Soft Drinks, offers his views on the soft-drinks market.

Soft drinks seem to be low down on the barspace pecking order, which is odd, as it would appear that consumers are increasingly selecting soft drinks as their preferred choice.

Sales of soft drinks in 2004 rose by more than 5% in the on-premise market, whereas beer, wine and spirits all fell (Zenith Conference 2005).

Sales of soft drinks are an upward trend and should be driven with active campaigns to promote awareness of the range and diversity available. Prominence within the bar area, good point-of-sale displays and active selling by bar

staff, plays an essential part in driving and keeping sales.

Customers' expectations of value for money is changing: a 113ml serving of orange juice at £1.20 is perceived as very poor value for money, and people are demonstrating their objection to this by switching to a larger drink, such as a

275ml juice drink, like one of our H range, and preferring to pay more for it.

Upsizing is the key to bolster the declining trend for mixers and pure fruit juice sales; if it is seen that for a small increase in price you are in fact almost doubling the size of serving, customers will be less likely to abandon these products.

Good service is vital, and if drinks are displayed and served well, not only will the sales increase during a customer's visit but they will be more likely to return.

Competition is usually a good thing to have as it stops industries from becoming complacent; unfortunately in some cases, licensees do not have the freedom to make choices.

The challenge of breaking in to the on-trade, and more importantly staying there, is huge. Even with mass marketing many new products fail and fall by the way side.

All of our products have been developed only with the on-trade consumer in mind; to stay competitive in a market which is increasingly being challenged by home entertaining and other factors, publicans need to be creating continual point of difference and be innovative.

We carry out regular consumer surveys and review our product portfolio accordingly; we try to meet demands such as that for more healthy drinks such as our newly-launched Mandarin

and Guava with Ginseng.

The Sparkling Diet Fruit Range of soft drinks was launched in advance of the ever-increasing demands for more scrutiny with regard to sugar content, and our new 330ml Fruit Stills in plastic has been developed to cater for those preferring

a sugar-free still drink with a sports cap.

Consumers are demanding new products and experiences; gone are the days when beer and a bitter lemon were a couple's drink. Consumers want choice, challenge and service, and we

must meet this demand, otherwise it will become increasingly difficult to lure customers out of their homes and into the pubs.

Publicans must be price competitive; many of the drinks stocked are KVIs (known value items) and consumers find it objectionable to be charged £1.50 for a drink that in a supermarket they can buy for 60p. As we cater solely for the

on-trade market our products have exclusivity, and no comparisons can be made.

Related topics Soft & Hot Drinks

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more