Scottish Grocer & Convenience Retailer


Bubble bubble toil and trouble

Good omens for soft drinks this season

BIG plastic bags fit for bursting with confectionery may last long in the memory as adult shoppers think back on their childhood Halloweens, but the occasion can also be big business for soft drinks.

That’s the view of soft drinks firms serving Scotland’s c-stores, and they’ve offered their outlook on how retailers can cash in on the season.

Amy Burgess, trade communications manager at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), reckons Halloween is being increasingly celebrated by adults, spelling opportunity for retailers to shift more soft drinks.

“Often enjoyed by friends at home, Halloween provides an ideal opportunity for retailers to increase soft drink sales as consumers look to provide refreshments for guests,” said Burgess.

One in three shoppers purchase soft drinks for Halloween, according to figures provided by AG Barr.  The Scottish soft drink firm said Halloween is worth over £300m and is the UK’s third biggest retail event.

“As statistics show that as many as 21% of adults in the UK are now teetotal, soft drinks are playing an important role for retailers in the run-up to Halloween.

“Sharing bottles such as the 1.75 PET bottles and 4x330ml multipacks are a perfect match for social gatherings, so stocking shelves with a variety of soft drinks in these formats can help retailers maximise sales.”

To make the most of Halloween, Burgess said it’s key for retailers to stock well-known brands, paying particular attention to the chiller.

“It is important to stock a range of well-known products and variants for shoppers that are kept chilled where possible, to allow for instant consumption for people planning impromptu gatherings,” she said.

Halloween party hosts may also look to create some ghoulish cocktails and mocktails for their guests.

And while Halloween may be traditionally seen as a children’s occasion, Burgess suggested retailers give shelf space to soft drinks brands with a more adult audience, to ensure they are catering to current trends.

“The health and wellness trend will continue to be a key driver of innovation in the soft drinks category this year, and so it is more important than ever to offer consumers a range of great-tasting, premium soft drink alternatives like Appletiser and Schweppes Sparkling Juice Drinks to enjoy during the Halloween period.

“Halloween party hosts may also look to create some ghoulish cocktails and mocktails for their guests, and mixers are a key ingredient for this.

“Schweppes 1litre mixers are available with striking black labels that demonstrate the brand’s long-standing heritage as the ‘creator of bubbles since 1783’,” she said. 

AG Barr said Halloween is the third biggest retail event

Adrian Troy, marketing director at AG Barr agreed that Halloween can give soft drinks a lift, if retailers put in the legwork.

Stores can drive soft drinks sales this Halloween by utilising fun, affordable products to appeal to consumers stocking up for seasonal parties or trick or treaters, he said.

“Halloween is worth over £300m and is the UK’s third biggest retail event, with one in three shoppers buying soft drinks for the occasion,” said Troy.

“The Halloween occasion represents a significant opportunity for retailers to grow sales during what is now a key period in the UK retail calendar.”

We advise retailers to build exciting displays that will entice shoppers and drive footfall to the fixture.

Troy added that with shoppers stocking up on take-home packs and soft drinks for parties, as well as smaller packs to hand out on the door step, the category joins confectionery as the biggest profit driver of the season, and retailers would be wise to get in on the act by introducing a bit of theatre to their stores.

“In-store theatre is vital to driving sales of seasonal products, so we would advise retailers to build exciting themed displays that will entice shoppers and drive footfall to the fixture,” he said.

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