lynchs eurospar greysteel

Soft drinks is a massive category for forecourt stores and especially for Forecourt Trader of the Year Best Soft Drinks Outlet 2023 winner, Lynch’s EuroSpar Greysteel in Londonderry.

Lynch’s is a big store – operating across 5,500sq ft – and the impulse drinks section, across a 24ft chiller, is the busiest section within a very busy store.

This impulse area is complemented by a secondary eight-foot chiller which houses fresh juices and smoothies, as well as shelf space and floor stacks for take-home soft drinks.

Manager for Lynch’s, Alastair Connor, says: “To say soft drinks are a big seller at Lynch’s EuroSpar Greysteel would definitely be something of an understatement. Our customers love soft drinks. We sell over £4,000-worth of impulse drinks and over £6,000-worth of take-home drinks every week.”

Selling that amount of soft drinks takes some dedication. Alastair says over 3,500 bottles and cans go out onto the store’s shelves each week: “We pride ourselves on making sure that we always have 100% availability, so much so that it takes two staff members to completely fill these sections daily and the shelves are topped up right from when we open until we close.”

The store staff work closely with soft drinks partner Coca-Cola to regularly update planograms in the chiller and main fixtures. “We plan promotional positions throughout the store. We dedicate at least three full promotional ends, four full side-ends and multiple floor stacks with supporting branded pos for soft drinks. These stacks are placed throughout our wide first aisle, below all our food-to-go counters and go all the way to our till area,” he explains.

Alastair says they always try to be first to market in their trading area for new soft drinks and promote thesewith ‘New to our range’ bus stops. “All new lines are displayed off shelf in our ‘New Line’ dumpbin and we constantly do ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ competitions on Facebook where consumers can win prizes.”

Sneak energy

Sneak peak

New products always add interest in the drinks chiller and one that should be hitting chillers soon is direct-to-consumer energy drink Sneak. That’s because the drink, which is popular with gamers, is now being exclusively distributed by World of Sweets in a bid to take it mainstream.

The confectionery distributor will be stocking the Sneak Energy range of 500ml drinks including Tropikilla, Purple Storm, Raspberry Lemonade and Blizzard Lemonade flavours.

Sneak was launched in 2018 in the UK and US. It claims the direct-to-consumer number one slot, having shipped over 1.2m customer orders since its launch.

The drink’s USP is its natural clean energy – no added preservatives, no refined sugars, no artificial colours and no artificial flavours. Instead the drinks contain natural caffeine, taurine, ginseng, choline and carnitine plus added B vitamins. All combine to help deliver a boost that is said to enhance mental focus and sharpness.

Brand manager from World of Sweets, Chris Smith, says: “Since the brand launched five years ago, they’ve built a massive following online. Now is the time to take them to a wider audience with the World of Sweets distribution network.”

“The brand’s already strong audience is highly engaged on its social channels with limited products selling out fast. They also have over 500,000 website visits per month. This is great news for retailers - an in-demand product will see customers heading to stores.”

Jimmys iced coffee

Protein enriched

Energy is obviously huge in the soft drink category but protein is popular too. Jimmy’s Iced Coffee is helping retailers meet consumer demand for on-the-go protein beverages with the launch of its new collaboration with Myprotein. Available in Original and Caramel flavours, Jimmy’s Myprotein Iced Coffee contains protein enriched milk and boasts 5.6g of protein per 100ml.

Ben Parker, Britvic’s retail commercial director in Great Britain, comments: “We know that shoppers have been on the hunt for on-the-go protein beverages for a while now. So, collaborating with Myprotein to bring together the rising protein trend and the popularity of RTD coffee is set to tick numerous boxes for consumers. The collaboration presents a huge opportunity for retailers to expand their RTD iced coffee range, appeal to new shoppers and increase basket spend.”

The drinks are being rolled out in a four x 250ml SlimCan multipack and a 380ml BottleCan. The launch will be supported by fitness and sport brand giveaways, influencer activity and product sampling.


Top-tier juice

Another benefit that many consumers look for in their soft drinks is vitamins – and fruit juice definitely fits the bill. Andrew Gibb, founder of Coldpress, describes the brand as the original HPP (high pressure processing) pioneer in UK. “It was a game-changer versus old-school heat-treated products. The result is sharper – more in keeping with natural flavours – and superior nutritional integrity. In addition, Coldpress owns its Spanish production facilities and also enjoys access to best-in-class Spanish crops, which means it’s well placed to maintain its top-tier juice mission which means ensuring everyday affordable price points for top-tier juices,” he says.

He adds that many Coldpress juices have other added vitamins added to them (A, B and D) which sets them apart nutritionally as most juices are only providers of vitamin C.

Coldpress juices come in an array of flavours but if Gibb was to recommend any for a forecourt store they would include Pink Lady Apple. He says most apple juice is bland because it’s been heat treated “to within an inch of its life”, Pink Lady Apple is not. Then there’s Pineapple, Banana Coconut, which Gibb describes as a Pina Colada without the alcohol.

New to the range is Mandarin Juice which Gibb says represents an innovative, lower cost alternative to orange juice – the cost of which is spiralling across the world.

Also new are the Ginger and Turmeric Shots containing 17% ginger and 12% turmeric. Gibb says with Coldpress you get 150ml of intense flavoured juice for the same price as the 60ml size most of his competitors sell.

Gibb reiterates that Coldpress is committed to selling its top-tier juices at an everyday affordable price. To this end, the 750ml juices typically retail at around £3 while the shots sell at £1.99.