There is a £1.4bn growth opportunity in the soft drinks market according to Open More Business, Coca-Cola Enterprises’ (CCE’s) new category report. Great Britain’s per capita soft drinks consumption is currently less than neighbouring countries, such as Ireland and Belgium, so CCE has identified this as a potential growth area. The company says that if each soft drinks’ shopper bought one extra drink per fortnight, then it would meet that £1.4bn figure.


For its report, the company focused on four key areas of understanding: consumer and shopper needs; shopper missions; the different environments where soft drinks are bought; and the role soft drinks play in these environments.


According to Him research, 43% of forecourt shoppers buy fuel only.


CCE plans to target these shoppers by influencing them at "key points of interruption all the way along the path to purchase from when they first drive on to the forecourt to when they pay at the till".


CCE says an estimated £26.8m is lost each year in forecourts by them simply not having the right stock on shelf and not letting soft drinks’ shoppers know it’s there.


Sectors such as energy, sport and water perform better in forecourts than in other convenience outlets so these are the areas that petrol retailers are advised to concentrate on.


The company reckons that more impulse purchases can be encouraged by having on-the-go energy solutions such as energy shots positioned at key impulse points such as the till area.


In a commitment to further research, CCE has entered into a three-year partnership with virtual reality software provider Red Dot Square Solutions to launch a state-of-the-art shopper research centre.


The software the company is using will deliver interactive virtual shopping experiences across a range of trading environments.


It tracks the user’s eye movements to give a much deeper insight into specific triggers and barriers to purchase. CCE says the data retrieved will be used to influence its new product development and its category planning.


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