Barr Soft Drinks is unveiling a new approach to managing the soft drinks fixture, focusing on three key drivers that it believes will be a major contributor to category growth in convenience retailing.

The three drivers – Health and Wellbeing, Taste & Fun and Lifestyle & Culture – reflect changing consumer lifestyles, influences and needs in relation to buying and consuming soft drinks.

“We’ve taken a long, hard look at the category, together with the lifestyle changes that are sweeping across the UK and how they impact on soft drinks’ consumption,” says Nick Bentley, Category and Shopper Marketing Controller for Barr Soft Drinks.

“It is difficult for retailers to be an expert on every category within their store and that is where we can help by really understanding your shopper at local level, to ensure your store stands out from the crowd by offering the choice they really want.”

Barr Soft Drinks has used the three category drivers to develop a blueprint for the future of soft drinks merchandising in the UK.

The new approach involves focusing on six specific shopper need states which cover all the major soft drinks’ consumption occasions, enabling retailers to merchandise the fixture to really engage shoppers.

Bespoke POS to signpost each need state showcases the choices on offer and makes it easier for shoppers to find the products they want.

The six consumer need states identified by Barr Soft Drinks are:

1) Healthy Refreshment – Water and water-plus products perform an important, functional role

2) Tasty Hydration – Low calorie products with the health benefits of water and the great taste of a carbonate

3) Everyday Enjoyment – The backbone of the fixture needs a good range of great-tasting choices

4) Adult Social – Indulgent treats and options for those that avoid alcohol

5) Connecting Cultures – Vibrant section to tap into growing demand for exotic flavours

6) On The Go – Nearly 1 in 3 purchases is an energy drink so this section needs to offer the right range of products and flavour choices

“Using a regional planogram based on these shopper need states will ensure that retailers are offering the right range of products for their shopper,” adds Bentley. “Merchandising the chiller in a clear and engaging way with POS to signpost, will make shopping the soft drinks fixture much easier and ensure that your store stands out from the crowd.”

The new Barr vision has been trialled over two months at three stores in different regions with different shopper profiles and has delivered an average sales uplift of 18%.

“The trial has shown that our new approach can really drive incremental sales by engaging shoppers and driving loyalty. We’re now looking forward to rolling out the category vision nationally,” adds Bentley.

Barr will be backing its new category vision with a range of trade-facing communication including an App which will give access to regional planograms and in-store POS and a Twitter feed.

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