Mixers matter

Long drinks, cocktails and mocktails rise in popularity during the festive season – and not just any soft drink will do, say producers.

Appletiser, Feminans Ginger Beer and Belvoir Elderflower Pressé
Adult soft drinks such as Appletiser, Feminans Ginger Beer and Belvoir Elderflower Pressé are aiming to catch the eyes of consumers this Christmas.

WITH family and friends of all ages getting together to celebrate up and down the country, Christmas is a fantastic opportunity for retailers to boost sales of soft drinks.

According to figures from Coca-Cola European Partners, 10.3m more shopping baskets contained a soft drink during the festive season in 2016 than in 2015. And last year, there was an average of more than nine soft drink purchases per shopper ahead of Christmas, with 95% of households buying soft drinks.

“Cola is the biggest seller within the soft drinks sector, and this is no different during the holiday season,” said Amy Burgess, trade communications manager at CCEP.

“In addition to this, consumers also look for ‘special’ drinks that capture the excitement of the holiday like cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails. This is reflected in the growth of mixers, which increased by 20% in value in the build-up to Christmas last year.”

Andrew Jackson, marketing director at Fentimans, said the Christmas period is the perfect time to boost sales of more premium products.

“A mixer makes up the majority of a drink and customers want premium mixers to go alongside their premium spirits. Stocking these and using POS that recommends pairing a premium mixer with a premium spirit is a great way to boost sales of both products.”

Adding that alternative mixers are a way of offering customers something different without transforming your entire drinks range, he said: “Fentimans’ extremely popular natural Rose Lemonade is a great alternative mixer in a G&T.”

Asked for key drinks trends this Christmas, James Logan, commercial director, Refresco, said cocktails and mocktails have “taken off nationwide”, so mixers including premium juices will sell well.

“Pina Colada, made with pineapple juice, is the UK’s favourite cocktail and the cranberry-based Cosmopolitan the fifth most popular.

“One of the big trends predicted this year is a harking back to the 1970s and the revival of the Black Forest gateau, which Cherry Good would complement,” he said.

Also promoted as a great mixer with spirits and an ingredient for cocktails is Belvoir Fruit Farm’s Elderflower Pressé, which is getting into festive mood with a limited-edition Christmas label.

The jolly, holly-covered label also features the brand’s elderflower motif dressed to impress in golden foil.