Thirst for a fright

Soft drinks vital for the third biggest party season of the year

FAMILIES and friends getting together to enjoy Halloween creates an ideal situation for c-stores to increase sales of soft drinks as hosts stock up for parties, argues Coca-Cola European Partners.

Some one in five adults now chooses not to drink alcohol, the firm suggests, and that makes it important to offer a wide range of soft drinks. Sharing packs such as its 1.75 PET bottles and 4 x 330ml multipacks are especially suitable for gatherings, it says. And, with so many older Halloween revellers, the firm reckons retailers can capitalise on Millennials’ fascination with ghouls and monsters with its Monster Energy drink. To meet demand for zero-sugar and zero-calorie drinks, CCEP has the Monster Energy Ultra range with White, Sunrise and Red varieties. Monster Energy is performing well and sales have grown by 10.8% over the last year, the firm said.

AG Barr says its range offers fun and affordability…

It also argues that with party hosts looking to create ghoulish cocktails and mocktails for their guests, mixers, such as those in its recently repackaged Schweppes range, are important to seasonal soft drinks ranges.

“Schweppes one-litre mixers are now available with striking new black labels which demonstrate the brand’s long-standing heritage,” a CCEP spokesperson said.

“The new design is also peppered with adult wit and humour to appeal to 30+ consumers.

..and Monster says its zero-sugar energy drinks are perfect for calorie-conscious ghost hunters.

“The move is the first in a series of investments planned for Schweppes which promises to be the brand’s biggest campaign in 20 years.”

The spokesperson added: “Halloween offers an opportunity for retailers to bring their stores to life by creating eye-catching themed displays surrounding the event.

“Retailers should consider using costumes and props to highlight best-selling products, and to inspire consumers to stock up ahead of their event.

“Decorations can be placed around the store to remind consumers to save the date in their social calendars, and potentially plan their own party to celebrate.”

Putting its sales value at £300m, AG Barr says Halloween is the third biggest retail event in the UK and that one in three shoppers buys soft drinks specially for the spooky occasion.

Barr head of marketing Adrian Troy said: “The biggest spend at Halloween is on confectionery and soft drinks, with fun and affordability being the key sales drivers.”

He argued that the AG Barr range of drinks, including Irn-Bru, fits both of those requirements.

He said: “Shoppers will be looking to stock up on take-home packs of soft drinks favourites, as well as smaller pack formats to hand out to trick-or-treaters.

“In-store theatre will help drive sales, so it’s vital that retailers build exciting displays that will entice shoppers.”