Drinkers urge pubs to make soft drinks 'more visible'

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Soft drinks, Alcoholic beverage

Carbonated soft drinks makers such as Coca-Cola continue to explore lower-sugar variants
Carbonated soft drinks makers such as Coca-Cola continue to explore lower-sugar variants
Almost two thirds (61%) of carbonated soft drink (CSD) consumers believe pubs, bars and restaurants should make such drinks more visible to consumers, says new research that suggests people are moving away from CSDs because of perceived high sugar levels.

A survey of 2,000 people by Mintel also found that 24% of over-18s drink CSDs as an alternative to an alcoholic drink in a bar, pub or restaurant.

Mintel expects CSD sales to reach their lowest point this year since 2010. British people consumed 5.96bn litres in 2010, and whilst this rose to 6.17bn litres in 2011, this has declined to just 5.95bn litres in 2014. In terms of value sales, Mintel expects these to reach just £7.5bn in 2014, compared to £8.3bn in 2011.

Health impacts

The research found that 25% of British people are consuming fewer CSDs than they were six months ago, rising to 34% of those aged 16-24. Of those consuming fewer CSDs in 2014, 50% said they were doing so because they contained too much sugar.

One third (34%) of those drinking fewer carbonated soft drinks than six months ago said they were doing so because they were worried about the health impacts of artificial sweeteners. Meanwhile, Government initiatives are also affecting consumption with 16% saying they are drinking less due to health campaigns such as Change4Life.

However, consumers still recognise CSDs’ functional role, with 55% of CSD consumers turning to them to quench their thirst, and over a third (37%) drinking them to accompany a meal.

Visibility

Richard Ford, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, said: "The findings of our research come as the debate over sugar’s contribution towards the nation’s growing obesity continues to be played out in the media, with CSDs being highlighted as one area for improvement.

"As such, CSD manufacturers continue to launch lower-sugar and sugar-free variants of their standard soft drinks, the highest-profile example of which is Coca-Cola’s forthcoming launch of Coca-Cola Life, which contains a blend of sugar and the sweetener stevia leaf extract, in the UK this September.

He added: "That the range of CSDs sold in bars, pubs and restaurants is more limited than of alcoholic beverages plays a role in their lesser visibility. Taking cues from alcoholic beverage brands, CSD operators can help drive visibility by providing more decorative and functional branded paraphernalia to proprietors, such as bar mats and bar-top drip trays.

"As soft drinks often lack the draught pumps common to alcoholic drinks, this exacerbates the issue. Distinctive, shaped glasses could also help CSD brands to standout."

Related topics: Soft & Hot Drinks

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2 comments

Look at the figures

Posted by David Pott,

If someone buys a pint at £3.50 working at a 50%GP there is £1.46 profit, if that same person bought a soft drink at £2.00 at 65%GP that's only £1.08 profit. As soft drink drinkers in general are likely to nurse their drinks for longer there is little attraction in encouraging them.

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Strange way to operate

Posted by The way Forward,

Am I correct in stating that here is more profit from selling soft drinks than the alcoholic variety? Therefore would it not makes commercial sense to give soft drinks premium merchandising space.

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