Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) away from home sales director Karen Yates-Hills explained one of the biggest trends the soft drinks giant had seen recently was around the emergence of zero sugar serves.
She said: “It is really important operators start to think about having those no sugar options and leading with that when consumers are in their outlets. It's one of the reasons we invest really heavily into Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, we know that's the future.
“We’re also seeing an emerging no alcohol trend and a sort of teetotal behaviour, so there's some nice roles for drinks outside the core in our portfolio, something like Appletiser that's a little bit different but is no added sugar.”
Yates-Hills continued within the brands cola portfolio, its Zero Sugar serve was now the fastest growing variant, up 42% in value 33% in volume.
“The macro trend of managing health is out there, it's well versed and consumers, whether they're in a pub, restaurant, bar or in a supermarket, they're going to have that same lens on every now and then wanting to be healthy.
“It's a bit slower at the moment in pubs and bars because people are still coming into those venues for a treat and, rightly or wrongly, managing your health agenda is probably not in the same camp as a treat at the moment.
“[However] the trend is starting to come through and it's important to have that offering.”
Though the director continued the core range of soft drinks “remain critical”.
“Combined, they account for two thirds of the overall value sales going through that channel, so you can't neglect that whatever you do."
However, Yates-Hills also stated flavoured carbonates were “worth keeping an eye on” and are also rising in popularity.
“In the 12 weeks from October last year, there was more than 5% growth in [the flavoured] part of the subcategory.
“Fanta is our leading flavoured carbonate and then we've got Sprite in double digit volume and value growth as well.
“It’s all about choice. We've all got our own repertoire, we've got a core that we sit within and every now and then you think ‘I want to try something different’, when you're at a pub you're going to want that choice.”