Magazine Archive


Mixed messages

More and more we’re told that people are drinking less alcohol. If statistics are to be believed, millennials led the booze-free charge and Generation Z are following suit, longingly clinging to their smartphones as they go.

I don’t know about you, but I often feel that a lot of the information we’re provided with on these subjects doesn’t always add up. More people are booze-free, yet multiple drinks categories are in growth. Veganism is on the rise, but the craving for knowledge and experimentation around meats and dairy goods has never been greater. These are perplexing times full of befuddling answers and opinions.

Let us turn our attention to the great soft drinks debate then, shall we? If the whole country is actually becoming increasingly health aware, then how are they reacting to the imminent tax being attached to their sugary drinks? Well, we can tell you. For 42% of the customers who took part in our Soft Drinks Report survey, carried out in partnership with Cardinal, a 10p increase to the price of their favourite soft drink would prompt them to order something with a lower sugar content. Reassuringly, it would only put 4% of people off ordering a soft drink altogether.

Our exclusive category reports are here to help demystify topics that are all too often overflowing with opinion and predictions. From page 28, you can find out how the guests of the modern on-trade really view soft drinks in the current market and, crucially, how to alter your drinks range based on these findings.

I was surprised to learn that only 75% of people were aware of the Soft Drinks Levy – one would think it was common knowledge. I wonder how many of those people actually believe it will reduce national obesity? At a Wetherspoon’s press conference last month, Tim Martin joked that those who choose to drink gallons of full-fat soft drinks were the skinniest people he knows (more on that next month). While causing the room to break into muted chuckles, Martin’s point merely added to the mixed messages that surround the food and drink categories of the industry. I hope this edition provides you with some much-needed clarity.

Tristan O’Hana - Group Editor