Coca-Cola driving the Big Night In

For many consumers, says Amy Burgess, Trade Communications Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), nights in with friends and family are being treated as more of an occasion and as such, people socialising at home is a growing opportunity for retailers. These nights are often planned at the last minute, and this can make supermarkets and convenience stores a go-to stop for shoppers making impulse buys for their evening ahead.

The reason for a night at home can vary, and occasions range from a ‘date night’ for couples to a dinner party with friends, or simply relaxing in front of the TV on a Saturday night.

Whatever the occasion, it’s likely that most consumers will be looking for an accompanying drink. With 21% of adults now choosing not to consume alcohol at all, it’s clear that soft drinks provide a major opportunity for independent retailers to increase their sales when catering for those enjoying nights at home.

Retailers should monitor for occasions such as popular TV events, including reality shows and sporting events, and keep stocks high in order to meet demand. Sharing formats like 1.75L PET bottles of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and multipack cans of Fanta and Sprite are popular choices for consumers for these occasions, so ensuring shelves are stocked up can.

What are the key formats/lines within the occasion?

“For many people, a night at home with friends is a direct substitute for going to a pub or a bar, and this is being reflected in their drinks choices.

“Schweppes remains the nation’s most popular mixer, whether consumed with or without alcohol. This is partly due to the popularity of cocktails and mocktails, as consumers look to enjoy an indulgent drink during a night in that differs from what they enjoy day to day.

“Because of this, retailers should consider the importance of mixers alongside their alcohol ranges.

“The classic mixer chosen by those in the know, dating back to when Jacob Schweppe first put the bubble in the bottle in 1783, Schweppes is instantly recognisable to customers.

The brand offers a wide selection of variants, ranging from Schweppes Indian Tonic Water to Schweppes Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Schweppes Bitter Lemon to provide for all shopper preferences.

“Adult soft drinks is also a growing sector that is ideal for home entertaining, and products like Appletiser and Schweppes Sparkling Juices drinks are popular whether served on their own, or as an ingredient for cocktail making.”

Healthier options

“With the increased focus on health leading some consumers to change their usual drink choice to reduce their sugar or calorie intake, retailers should look to display lower or no sugar variants of well-known brands as part of their ‘Big Night In’ displays.

“Schweppes offers a selection of Slimline products that will appeal to those looking to enjoy a lighter option as part of their cocktail recipes, potentially leading to incremental sales growth.”

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar

“Since its launch in July 2016, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has become the fastestgrowing cola brand in Great Britain worth £148m, thanks to its sugar free credentials and great taste.”

How important is it to retailers and how can they make the most of the opportunity?

“Designating a space instore for the ‘Big Night In’ occasion can add a layer of convenience for consumers, whilst also encouraging impulse purchases that can lead to incremental growth.

“These displays could see soft drinks displayed alongside other snacking products that are popular for nights at home with friends and family, as well as nonfood and drink items such as DVDs and games, and it could also be effective to introduce promotions that offer discounts when these products are bought together.”