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The secrets to driving sales at your site

With the warmer weather just weeks away and beer gardens in the UK are beginning to busy up, we spoke to Category Controller at Kopparberg Anne Claypole to get her thoughts on the fruit cider market this summer.



How do you encourage more consumers to go out to venues during the cost-of-living crisis?

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, young adults have been the first to return to venues and are expected to be a major source of footfall and revenue in the on-trade industry this year. This age group enjoys eating and drinking out more than any other, and they often seek out their favourite brands when visiting venues. Kopparberg is a popular choice among young drinkers1 (aged 18-24), making it a must-stock brand for attracting this younger footfall into venues. This demographic also has more disposable income on average, and they place value in experiences and socialising with friends, meaning going out for food and drinks is high on their agenda.

It is important to consider experiential activity in your venue, not only does this ensure that customers get value for money, but you can drive footfall by offering something that they are not easily able to replicate at home. By giving customers a positive experience, it allows venues to facilitate customer connections that can turn into long-term relationships and keeps them in venues for longer.

Another way to encourage customers to come to your venue is by offering promotions and discounts. This can include ‘happy hour’ specials, drinks deals or loyalty programs. Drinks sharing packages are also a great way to drive groups of drinkers into outlets. Offering these promotions and discounts outside of busy periods is a great way of driving customers into venue and generating cash on quieter midweek nights.

Why is the right range so important to venues?

Range is becoming increasingly important as the competition of recreating out of home experiences in home intensifies. Licensees must give customers a reason to cross the street, and providing an exciting and innovative drinks portfolio can help to maximise sales during this crucial trading period for operators. This means stocking the big hitters and innovators within categories who have a loyal following. Kopparberg has more loyal drinkers than any other beer or cider brand2 with 1 in 5 Kopparberg drinkers only drinking Kopparberg3.

Whilst popular fruit cider variants such as Strawberry & Lime and Mixed Fruit dominate the packaged cider market, operators should look to profit this summer from seasonal flavour trends. Following on from the emergence of Peach as a rapidly-growing, on-trend flavour in the winder alcohol category this year, Kopparberg have introduced a brand new seasonal exclusive – Summer Punch. This variant builds on Kopparberg’s expertise in premium fruit refreshment and we expect this product to perform well as the weather improves and we head into summer.

With the rise of teetotal or ‘sober-curious’ consumer behaviours, licensees need to ensure they are prepared by diversifying their menu offerings to address this trend. Alcohol free is now a huge opportunity for operators and the category is now the fastest growing of cider, increasing by over 500% over the last 5 years4. Kopparberg launched alcohol-free variants in 2007 and this range has since evolved to include Strawberry & Lime, Mixed Fruit, Mixed Fruit Tropical and Pear.

When building out your drinks menu, it is important to ensure that operators have high volume lines on draught such as Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime and instead allow packaged to offer breadth of choice to drive additional and incremental spend by attracting those lighter cider drinkers who we know are looking for exciting new flavours such as Mixed Fruit Tropical and Summer Punch.

Outlets should also diversify their drinks menu by ensuring they have a diversified portfolio containing both draught and packaged cider to cater for consumer needs for different drinking occasions. During the day, particularly when the weather is good and drinkers flock to beer gardens, offering a fruit cider draught alternative can put additional cash in your tills as consumers are willing to pay more for the product. Kopparberg’s bestselling Strawberry & Lime is now available on draught and can help venues to provide a point of difference and drive sales.



Why is summer so important to the on-trade and how can you ensure your venue is summer ready?

During the summer months, people tend to spend more time outside, socialising and enjoying the weather. This means that bars and restaurants can expect to see an increase in footfall and customer numbers. Throughout the summer period we often observe increases in the consumption of fruit cider and other summer drinks related to seasonality and significant events where consumers are looking for reviving, flavourful and easy to drink options. When the sun shines fruit cider sales uplift more than any other category so by ensuring you are stocking the most loved fruit cider brand can help make the most of these warm periods and drive sales for outlets.

Many pubs, bars and restaurants have outdoor seating areas that can be used during the summer months to extend the number of covers they can do. Not only is this beneficial to outlets but it can also be a big draw for customers who want to enjoy a refreshing drink in the sunshine so ensuring that beer gardens are appealing for customers to sit in will increase dwell time and customer spend.

When the sun shines and the weather warms up in the summer customers feel more positive and therefore have more out of home drinking occasions, with an increasing in ad-hoc midweek occasions occurring. This is a huge opportunity for outlets so ensuring they are stocking the big hitting brands can encourage customers to flock to their venue and beer garden. As consumer spending tightens, we can expect to see more staycations in the UK which again outlines an opportunity for outlets to benefit from more UK out of home occasions.

How do you drive profitable growth through cider?

Drinkers have their favourite alcohol brands, and it has been known that customers will drink less or even leave a venue if these favourites are not stocked. 65% of drinkers would choose Kopparberg ahead of any other fruit cider5 which highlights the importance of ensuring your venue is stocking the best possible range to drive footfall into your venue and keep customers staying for longer once in.

By stocking customer favourites, it is important that your drinks menu caters for all customers and by blending in some premium brands you can encourage consumers to upsell to those more premium brands. Licensees can charge a higher price point for premium drinks and get more cash in their tills as these brands are seen as ‘worth paying more for.’ It is also important to consider your draught offerings as well – Draught is an important volume driver for outlets and in fact 54% of customers prefer buying draught cider over packaged6. This supports the need for venues to offer a second draught line for cider to allow them to offer a draught fruit cider – and they back a big hitter like Kopparberg when they do.

Not only does draught help drive volume but it can also demand a higher price point in venue by providing consumers with an experience that they cannot replicate at home. Bartenders can also upsell on draught through offering pitcher or cider tower serves which are great for attracting large groups of young drinkers and again creating interactive OOH experiences. To find out more about the POS support available from Kopparberg click here.

Young drinkers (18-24) are a key demographic this summer – they have disposable income, go out more often and have a longer dwell time. They also drink in larger groups so licensees should ensure they are stocking their favourite brands such as Kopparberg, the most loved drinks brand for 18–24-year-olds so tailoring your offer to attract more young drinkers is a guaranteed way to drive to drive incremental sales.

Sources:
1) Base: All UK adults (2,108) weighted base, omnibus survey 22nd to 24th April 2022. * Kopparberg brand split into Cider, Gin, Rum, Vodka, Hard Seltzer and Non-Alcoholic Cider
2) Kantar world panel, 52 we 15th May 2022
3) Kantar, Total Market, Beer & Cider, 52 we 15th May 2022
4) CGA Strategy (16/07/22)
5) Germinate Research Agency, Kopparberg On Trade research, 1,029 Nat Rep base, Omnibus survey, July 2021
6) CGA BrandTrack February 2022, Sample Size: 438-5002