Sustainable Solutions For Soft Drinks

With drinks-to-go on the rise and a huge opportunity for the convenience sector a lot can be made from adults switching away from alcohol to softer alternatives. The future is bright for the category given that they can find sustainable solutions and healthier options. Adult soft drinks such as Shloer, are up by 7.6% in impulse purchases.

A Changing Future On The Horizon

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years you might not know that a powerful aversion to plastic is on the rise. Even the most stubborn people are coming round to the idea that plastic is damaging to the environment. Terrifying statistics highlighting that by 2050 there’ll be more plastic in our oceans than fish! With this knowledge the soft drinks category has a major role to play in stopping this frightening prediction.

According to statistics from YouGov, 80% of us are trying to cut down on our plastic waste and are willing to pay higher prices for more economical friendly packaging. From April 2020, the government are looking to ban plastic straws and stirrers to combat the waste made by drinks machines in c-stores. Many c-stores are already getting ahead of the game by finding suppliers for alternative answers to plastic while others voice their frustration over the government’s ban.

Brands are stepping up to support retailers and provide practical ways to tackle their waste. The invention of edible, PLA (polyactic acid) and cardboard straws have already caught a lot of attention from retailers and may be the environmentally-friendly answer to an age old problem.

Alcohol Sales Decline Mean Opportunity For Soft Drinks

Alcohol consumption has had a steady decline since 2007, the volume of pure alcohol sold per adult has been decreasing according to the NHS. However, it causes us to ask the question “does this mean an opportunity for soft drinks to intervene?”

This trend gives retailers opportunity to expand their soft drinks offering to include more choice of different, unique and innovative brands. The soft drinks category enjoyed value sales last summer which was a surprise given the implementation of the new sugar tax on soft drinks. Advice to retailers is to focus their efforts on turning shopper’s attention to healthier alternatives for soft drinks. “Promoting less sugary drinks is a great way of introducing energy drinks to new shoppers who we know reject high sugar energy drink brands.”

Deposit Return Scheme A Possibility For UK?

A Deposit Return Scheme to come into effect in Scotland will include glass, plastic and aluminium drinks containers of all sizes and will apply to all retailers. Environmental secretary, Roseanna Cunningham says “all businesses that sell drinks would be required to accept returns under the DRS model.” A deposit refund level of 20p has also been set following consultation.

Cunningham remarks that retailers would have “flexibility” when collection returns from customers either via a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) or manually over the counter. Producers and retailers would be expected to set up a not for profit organisation to fund and operate the scheme.

With Scotland’s government looking to introduce the DRS by 2020, England’s Scheme is not due to be introduced until 2023. This time gap poses a significant challenge for businesses trading throughout the UK. With the DRS only in effect in Scotland, up to three years before it’s taken nationwide – runs the risk of the scheme being undermined by fraud.

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