More and more adults are becoming teetotal. Granted there will always be a place for alcoholic drinks, but this up swell of non-alcoholic drinkers are going to be increasingly demanding an appealing range of drinks and one that does not necessarily feature the usual iconic brand line up. The result is soft drinks now need to not only appeal to children or the designated driver, but to also live up to the expectation of being an interesting beverage in their own right. In addition, with so many different quantities of visitors to sports and leisure venues, the key is to also be able to scale up (and down!) the soft drinks offering and make it profitable.
The challenge is making the teetotal drinker enjoy all the experience that the alcoholic drink delivers, be that its presentation, the varieties available or simply down to the taste. The other aspect to consider is that many who drink non-alcoholic drinks also do not want the sugar levels that are typically associated with carbonated or other soft drinks. Particularly as many are opting for the soft drink option to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This combined with the impact of the Sugar Tax Levy is creating an opportunity for venues to differentiate. Whether that is through the range of drinks on offer or the way it is served or dispensed, there are a number of ways that venues should be responding to these customer desires.
The answer is to have a more intriguing drinks range which through presentation also creates a more interesting and inviting offering. Be that for general bar service or hospitality and conference. Alongside traditional beverages, more unusual flavoured drinks and formats have entered the realm some of which have been deliberately developed to be tailored to reflect the seasons. Different flavoured juice drinks like Peach or Rhubarb also offer an enticing display of rainbow colours. Perfect for a refreshing, thirst quenching drink but these can also be used as a clever base drink, to add a twist to soft drinks simply served with soda or as part of a menu of mocktails. Typically fruit concentrates like these are also lower in sugar and high in vitamin C, so Catering Managers are easily able to respond to any sugar concerns.
This flexibility of drink options and how one drink format can work in many ways is clearly working for many sport and leisure venues. In addition the ability to increase volumes to meet particular event needs is proving to be a winning formula for the catering team at The Oval. As Jimmy Pidiath, Conference & Events Operations Manager who works with Oranka Juice Solutions highlights, “The importance of getting our soft drinks offering right is paramount. Whether it is for our everyday hospitality and conference business or for significant events flexibility is key. Having a range of drinks that can adapt to our needs and how we want them presented means we can easily respond to every situation. Plus, when we need to expand our operation for really large scale events, where we want to enhance what we are offering, we are able to upscale easily both in terms of premium drinks, but also dispensing and presentation.”
As Troy Smith, Managing Director of Oranka Juice Solutions says, “For any hospitality and events organisation it has always been a tricky balance of finding the right drink ranges and presentation solutions. However now there is the added dynamic of more non-alcoholic drinkers, sugar concerns and still wanting to create a distinctive experience. So if you can create something that is able to adapt and flex to the needs then you are all in a win-win situation.”