Exhibitor Profile: OTC Beverages
Shirley White, managing director at OTC Beverages explains why she has signed up to be at European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo for the first time.
You have booked to exhibit at European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo 2020 for the first time. Can you tell us why?
I want to get the soft drink brand name out there as much as possible. I am a bit old school, as I want to get out there and show people the brand. OTC has been completely self-funded and the feedback has been really positive. I want to have the platform of the Expo to move it further forward. There are going to be specific people coming to the show to look for soft drinks and then looking at brands that will suit their requirements.
What key product or products are you planning to showcase at the show?
At the moment we are showcasing in the 330ml bottle both the still and sparkling ginger beer and sorrel drinks. But by the Expo in May 2020 we will have the canned 250ml sparkling versions of the drinks. I was really confident that I did not want to add artificial flavourings to the drinks. I wanted it to be the old fashioned way of flavouring drinks, such as using organic cane sugar. It comes to as close as the flavour my grandmother would make in her kitchen.
What are your plans for the year ahead? Is there any new launches or initiatives planned?
I am looking at a Hibiscus variant and also a lime soft drink. Also, there is a potential for a fruit punch or even adding rum to the sorrel variant.
What do you see as the key current opportunities and challenges for the sector right now?
There is an opportunity for a drink like this in the market. A lot of people are focusing on what they are putting into their bodies. Everybody is banging on about sugar but there are other things that people should focus on such as the sugar alternatives that are an unknown. Sugar is not all bad and it is about educating people. It is about making soft drinks appealing as a premium brand. People are not drinking alcohol as much as they used to and it is about making the bottles appealing, stylish and premium to people. Some of the challenges are that the operators such as restaurants need to be a bit more understanding of start-ups that are self-funded. A lot of hotels and restaurants need to think outside the box because brands like Coke are never going to go away. But invite the newer brands in and give them a platform.
- OTC Beverages will be exhibiting on stand SD1 at European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo on 19-20 May 2020.
- For more information on OTC Beverages go to their website www.otcbeverages.com
- For more information on stands and sponsorship at European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drink Expo 2020, which will take place at London’s Olympia on 19 and 20 May, contact Sukhvir Hayre on +44 (0) 203 668 9809 or email firstname.lastname@example.org