Gin flavours set to drive soft drinks market
Flavours influenced by spirits such as gin are set to drive the soft drinks variants, Rosie Crossman, brand manager, at Franklin & sons has revealed. “Soft drinks are following the lead of gin in becoming more exciting in their flavour profiles,” Crossman said.
The flavours that distillers are “playing around with” such as botanicals, she said, are set to make their way further into the soft drinks category. “We have looked at a lot of favour profiles that distillers have used and we are putting it into non-alcoholic products that are ready to serve.”
Franklin & Sons has been responding by launching variants such as Fragrant Guava & Lime with Root Ginger and Exotic Pineapple & Cardamom with Cracked Cubeb Pepper in its soda range which has been relaunched as Sister’s Sodas. It soft drinks range includes variants such as Cloudy Apple & Yorkshire Rhubarb with Cinnamon, and Sicilian Lemonade & English Elderflower with Crushed Juniper. The drinks have no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners and no preservatives.
“I think the battle is always education. What we are seeing is people are interested in favour and they want to buy into new flavours. It is very much about being able to educate the consumer, as the default is still coke and lemonade, ” Crossman argues.
The fall in the number of people drinking is also driving much of this flavour innovation with 25% of young people not drinking alcohol. “Mostly we are seeing that people are spending less, drinking less, but wanting better quality,” she said. “Experience and quality is really important. If you are not drinking you want to feel like you are having an occasion.”
Another challenge faced by soft drinks companies is to educate operators whether they are a café, pub or restaurant to understand and sell the products. “It is about versatility and making sure that the products you have in that all important fridge space, which is at a premium, work as hard as possible,” Crossman added. “We are investing so that we know that staff are trained and they are confident when they are asked by their customers. We need to look after our customers so they inspire their customers.”
She added that the Franklin & Sons drinks work well served on their own but can match and pair with food giving the operator versatility. She said it is important to have soft drinks that have a “bit of a story”. “It is also about having something that looks beautiful as we have an instagram generation,” she added. “If you can have that point of difference, that intrigue and get consumers picking it up then that is half the battle.”
Franklin & Sons is exhibiting on stand H7 at European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo on 19th and 20th May 2020.
“The draw to the show is the international presence of buyers which is huge opportunity for us. We are also focusing a lot of time and effort on foodservice, which is a relatively new area of the business and it is an interesting prospect for us. “