Family pubs: the soft option

Related tags Soft drinks Coca-cola Caffeine

The smoking ban is set to have a significant impact on pubs as family venues, with four out of 10 adults more likely to take their children into...

The smoking ban is set to have a significant impact on pubs as family venues, with four out of 10 adults more likely to take their children into smoke-free pubs, according to exclusive research for The Publican.

The research into consumers' perception of the smoking ban, carried out in February for The Publican and Britvic, also provided some revealing insights into what families are likely to be drinking on these occasions.

With more children in pubs, soft drinks are likely to play an increased role - pleasing news in that these usually offer licensees a higher margin than alcohol.

The survey found that 40 per cent of parents would take their children to the pub more often. More than half (58 per cent) would buy their children pure juice, and 44 per cent would go for juice drinks. A third (34 per cent) would choose squash, while a similar number would go for flavoured water. A smaller proportion (25 per cent) would buy their children a cola drink.

This signals a significant shift in the type of soft drinks consumed when families go to the pub. When it came to adults buying soft drinks for themselves, cola dominated, with nearly half (48 per cent) saying this was the soft drink they were most likely to choose in the on-trade.

A separate set of research, conducted for Britvic by Alcovision at the tail end of last year, also highlighted the importance of soft drinks to the family market. It demonstrated that soft drinks, along with wine, were a key category on family occasions.

The family way

Soft drinks accounted for 15.9 per cent of drinks consumed in pubs on family occasions and wine accounted for a 22.5 per cent share. These were two of only three categories that showed greater consumption on family occasions than on other occasions - the other being cider.

Paul Linthwaite, Britvic business unit director for the on-trade, says: "The smoking ban has a number of positive elements when it comes to attracting more families. Adults are far more likely to bring their kids to the pub."

Britvic's family market-targeted on-trade products include Fruit Shoot and flavoured water Fruit Shoot H20, which Paul says has greatly increased in distribution to pubs in the past year.

"The latest research demonstrated what it was that parents were more likely to choose for their kids - how important pure juice is," says Paul.

"There has been a groundswell of the 'better for you' attitude. As a parental choice, it's balanced off against pubs still being an indulgent experience.

"Although it's not kids who are doing the purchasing, they like to see brands they recognise such as Fruit Shoot, and it prompts adults to buy," he adds.

Related topics Soft & Hot Drinks

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