Business is booming so far in 2016 if you’re in the soft drinks industry thanks to an early Easter and a winter so mild that many missed it all together.
The term “soft drinks” covers hot drinks like coffee, which is seeing a boom in popularity thanks to the renaissance of the cafe culture across Western Europe and the UK in particular. Coffee is fashionable again, and it’s readily available.
While alcoholic drink sales are likely to lift in the coming months with improving weather and plenty of high-profile sporting events, the first quarter of 2016 has been all about the non-alcoholic options.
There has been much speculation about a sugar tax in the UK, but this has not yet affected the soft drinks industry, despite the negative publicity. In Belgium, however, a tax was implemented at the start of the year and does seem to have impacted sales.
Flavoured water is one area seeing a particular increase in popularity. Nevertheless, plain water continues to be the lynchpin of water sales, while water with added tastes is increasing in demand.
Juices and other still drinks are still struggling, partly as a result of changing patterns in trends and routines, especially breakfast. Again, sugar plays a part, with many people now concerned about the amount of sugar in undiluted fruit juice. The popularity of juicers is almost certainly playing a role in the decline of ready-squeezed juice; people believe it is better for them if they squeeze it themselves or add vegetables to vary their vitamin intake and reduce sugars.
As the UK recovers from recession and people start going out to bars and restaurants again, the demand remains for soft drinks. A post mix machine and associated products like those sold by Empire (https://empireuk.com/post-mix-products/post-mix-carbonated-soft-drinks/) is a must in the current market.
The industry does have areas to think about, but it is most definitely not all doom and gloom. As long as organisations are ready to exploit opportunities, business will continue to succeed. A Brexit vote might cause an element of financial turbulence, but hopefully the uncertainty will be short-lived.