New research from Britvic reveals that almost half of consumers (45%) are set to buy more soft drinks at Christmas as over a fifth (21%) plan to drink less alcohol.

With 37% also planning to spend more on soft drinks at Christmas than previous years, increasing to over half (56%) of consumers aged 16-24, Britvic says seasonal soft drinks sales are set to soar this Christmas and it is advising retailers to be prepared and stock up now.

The research, conducted by Censuswide UK, also indicates that of those consumers planning to reduce their alcohol consumption this Christmas, 39% now drink less alcohol all year round, increasing to 41% in those aged 25-34 and to 46% in those aged 55+.

Britvic says this shows it is also important to stock a dynamic range of soft drinks throughout the year to cater for this growing interest in soft drinks.

The figures revealed that for over half (54%) of those that will be indulging in alcohol this Christmas, the tipple of choice will be spirits. With over three in five (63%) of spirits drinkers using mixers, Britvic says being fully stocked with soft drinks ideal for mixing, such as Pepsi Max and R White’s Lemonade, will be key to capitalising on this seasonal sales opportunity for retailers.

The results also showed that almost a quarter (21%) of consumers don’t think there are enough premium soft drinks to choose from. This increases to 27% among consumers aged 25-34 and Britvic says this highlights a major gap in the market that retailers can fill by stocking premium ranges, such as Purdey’s and J2O Spritz, in the chiller.

Trystan Farnworth, commercial director, convenience & impulse at Britvic, commented: “It’s clear from our research that there’s going to be a real shift towards moderate drinking this Christmas and as a result, there is likely to be a high demand for soft drinks throughout the season.

“Stocking a dynamic range of soft drinks, including well-known brands like J2O and Pepsi Max, as well as chilled on-the-go and sharing formats, will enable retailers to cater for this peak in demand over the festive period.”