On average, just one drink is had by those abstaining from alcohol in a 70-minute period when visiting an on-trade outlet, which is low considering one in five consumers identify as teetotal, according to Coca-Cola European Partners' (CCEP) out of home director Rob Harris.
Sales of softs can be increased by acting on the five trends CCEP is set to target in the coming years through new product launches, reformulation and marketing, he added.
The first trend, scrutiny, takes into account the two main age groups with major spending power in the UK – the over-65s and Millennials.
‘Looking for very different things’
Harris said: “There are more over-65s than under-16s and then you have got Millennials who are looking for very different things to the older generations – and they also have a lot of money.”
Health and freshness of ingredients were important to both categories, while having better alcohol-free options was important to the younger generation.
Trend two was around connected lives, which means more consumers than ever are able to access the internet and social media through their mobile phones because more than 70% of adults own a smartphone.
“We all have phones in our pockets and that’s changing how consumers are looking at outlets and also how they are referring their experiences,” Harris added.
Another trend is food is the new fashion, which ties in with Harris’s previous point around technology.
‘Posting on Instagram’
He said: “People are taking photos of the food on their plates and posting it on Instagram.”
Health conscious consumers is a fourth trend rising as more consumers look for lower calorie products. This trend will be reflected in the amount of Coca-Cola Diet Coke sold and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in the coming years, with CCEP claiming the two products will each account for 50% of their UK sales.
The final trend identified by Harris was anytime anywhere, which means consumers want food and drink at their beck and call. “Most of the money spent on this trend is out of home,” Harris added.
“Out-of-home occasions make up one third of all consumption occasions, and consumers want that [more appropriate products] and we have to respond.”