Core principles of Soft Drinks range

With a growing selection of new products and trends to consider, making the right choice is important. So from exciting and innovative brands to those everyday stable sellers, we've got some tips to help you get range ready.

What's the right range choice?

Guests now expect outlets to offer a broad range of drinks to suit different occasions. A happy customer is more likely to stay longer and spend more, so by giving them more choice you can really boost sales. The range you stock tells visitors a lot about the style and quality they can expect - a great selection of cask ales, shouts craft and care whilst a wide range of cocktails, mocktails and spirits, shouts modernity and premium. Follow our 8 core principles and you'll be well on your way

Principle 1 - Share it out!

The share of space in your fridge and founts on the bar should be proportional to the share of category sales in your outlet

  • Where practical, divide each category up by good, better, best to understand the value between core, premium & super premium lines.
  • Split your range out by category across beers, ciders, soft drinks, spirits, wines and hot drinks.
  • Try to understand your percentage share of cash sales and margin for each category, so you know how important each category is to your business.

Tip: As a rule of thumb, the more premium your outlet is and the more affluent your clientele, then the more space you need to divert to specialty and niche lines.

Principle 2 - Customer is king!

Think about your current regulars, occasional customers and who you want to attract to your outlet in the future. Take time to identify and understand on what occasions they are likely to visit and consider what they may want to drink on these trips. This will help you make decisions on adding more products to your range to meet specific customer needs

  • Who does your range need to appeal to?
  • Who do you want to target as customers?
    • Younger or Older
    • Male/ Female
    • Families, kids and teens
  • Do the products you stock match their needs?

Tip: Why not ask your customers what they would like to see stocked?

Principle 3 - Tantalising treats!

Don’t forget to leave space for new and different drink options. This can set you apart from the competition. Whilst they may not fly off the shelf, premium treat lines often deliver a higher cash margin per serve.

  • 35% of visitors are on a treat mission in the licensed channel.
  • Consider the occasion your guests are on.
  • Do your guests have an opportunity to trade up for that special occasion?
  • 65% of consumers state they would pay more for premium products.

Tip: Use point of sale and menus to help up-sell customers to these high margin lines.

Principle 4 - Food for thought!

If food is a core part of your outlet proposition, food and drink pairing is a must. Matching the right food with the right drink is becoming more important to consumers as they seek out enhanced experiences, and with range being an important driver to outlet choice, it is more important than ever to deliver great tasting food & drinks. 

  • The importance of food led occasions has grown significantly over the last 10 years.
  • We are living as a ‘foodie’ culture with consumers eating & drinking out 16 times a month
  • Food pairing has always been the domain of wine and bottled water, but with the rise of the foodie generation, soft drinks and beers are now coming to the fore as perfect food partners.
  • 1 in 2 eating out occasions feature a soft drink! Why not consider drinks that pair well with your food range?

Tip: Check out our food and drink pairing guide to cater for all your guests needs

Principle 5 - Seasonal spend!

Seasons and events like Summer, Easter, Christmas, or even the World Cup and Wimbledon are great social get-togethers. Why not create a themed or seasonal drinks range to drive additional sales.

  • Why not consider an inspirational seasonal drinks range or serve to satisfy guests on these occasion?
  • Consider the brands and categories that best suit the event or season.
    • Lagers and Pepsi Max for sport and entertainment events.
    • Soft drink pitchers, long spirit mixed drinks and Pimms for summer.
    • Cocktails and mocktails for Christmas.

Tip: Check out our sensational seasonal serves!

Principle 6- Healthy hero's!

Guests are increasingly demanding healthier lower/ non alcoholic options along with low / no sugar drinks so make sure you tap into this high growth space!

  • With 1 in 5 people now tee total and 1 in 2 moderating alcohol, you may need to think more about giving soft and hot drinks more space.
  • Don't forget your healthy hero's, over 60% of consumers are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Tip: The average outlet needs around 35 soft drinks to cover all the bases.

Principle 7 - Don't forget the kids!

If families are your market, why not make the kids experience a little more fun. Happy kids are good for your pocket as well, so make sure you stock a great range of child friendly products. 

  • For young children, fun colourful fruity brands like Fruit Shoot are a must, with a range of great tasting flavours and non spill caps, you can't go wrong. 
  • For teens, their choice becomes a little more experimental, so stocking a range of interesting cordials, fruity carbonated drinks and flavoured waters will keep them smiling. 

Tip: Why not develop separate kids and teens drinks menu's with brands and serves relevant to the younger audience.


Principle 8 - Keep it fresh!

From adding seasonal specials to complement changes in your menus to stocking the next big thing it's important to review your range to stay one step ahead.

Trends and tastes are constantly changing, and we'll keep you updated with the latest seasonal advice on what's hot and what's not. 


View more trends

Soft Drinks Range Guide

To help we’ve produced a Soft Drinks range guide for different pubs and bar styles.

View the guide

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