There has been much debate on soft drinks over the last few weeks, primarily centred around the Government’s ‘sugar-tax’ introduced in March’s budget.


As a wholesaler of soft drinks, we believe that the large manufacturers will continue to seek ways to reduce sugar and perhaps resist passing this new tax onto consumers.


Retailers will continue to do what they always do and that is to offer customers a wide choice of soft drink products from household brands to artisan producers, sweet treats to healthy re-hydration, old favourites and new challengers.


Jimmy Roberts, manager at convenience store Spar Y Maes, is in no doubt that understanding the needs of your customers is key to stocking the right mix of soft drinks.


“Soft drinks is a huge category for us, occupying some 10 metres of shelf and chiller space,” says Jimmy.  “We have a varied customer base and so ensure that we cater for all by stocking Spar own label and mainstream brands together with artisan and local products.


“We are not adverse to giving new trends and different products a go but monitor the rate of sale closely and if products are not a hit with our customers then we replace them with something else that might be.


“It’s about understanding your customers.  For example in the summer, we cater for a lot of tourists and therefore stock up on products that meet their shopping needs alongside our all year round customer favourites.”


Fever Tree is a brand that sells well for Spar Y Maes in the summer and regularly appears in our top ten sellers list throughout the year.


Fever-Tree, the pioneering natural premium mixer brand, has created a range of drinks which focus on taste and quality, balanced with authentic flavours and perfect carbonation.


The brand continues to build its strength in the UK where it holds 22% of the value share within the retail mixer category and continues to champion the perfect G&T serve through its range of tonic waters.


As the Financial Times observed, 'The age of the dismal mixer is over' and if 3/4 of your Gin & Tonic is tonic, make sure you mix with the best’.


Away from the tonic world, Fever-Tree has created a Madagascan Cola, the first all-natural cola in the UK designed specifically to be mixed with dark spirits. The Cola joins Fever-Tree's Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale, creating a core portfolio of natural premium mixers designed to be paired with the finest rums, whiskies, brandies and bourbons. 


Find out more about the range of Fever Tree mixers here.


From mixers, to fruit juices, carbonated to still, no-sugar, no added sugar, no sweeteners, no artificial sweeteners, all-natural, and more, it is certainly a complex, competitive and dynamic category.


A new category, liquid snacks, which as the name suggests, blurs the lines between a drink and a snack, is also starting to gain shelf space and popularity.


While already somewhat established in the wellbeing area, as a healthy way to relieve hunger and prevent unhealthy snacking, these snacking drinks are now expanding into new consumer segments.


Dean Dempsey, co-founder of children’s liquid snack brand Naturelly, believes that this new category will see significant growth in the months to come.


“As a parent, I was always searching for something healthy that I could give to my children to keep them going in-between meals,” says Dean.  “I wanted something that didn’t need to be chilled, didn’t spill, quenched thirst and curbed hunger.


“When I couldn’t find just what my daughters needed, my wife and I decided to create something ourselves, and inspired by sports gels and Japanese jelly drinks we launched Naturelly.”


Naturelly, is a range of fun and fruity refreshing juicy jelly snacks made with fruit juice and a plant-based fibre-rich jelly.  The three flavours come in handy, eye-catching squeeze pouches made with just natural ingredients.  Find out more here.


As a soft drinks distributor, we have a wide range of differentiated and exciting drinks brands and suppliers available.  Find out more here.