More and more people are forgoing alcohol. Restaurants are noticing this new trend and as a result are re-thinking the soft drinks they offer. Together with the market research company Cardinal we carried out a representative survey to investigate what restaurant visitors expect as far as non-alcoholic drinks are concerned and which consumer habits they have. For this purpose, we asked participants from our English panel, restaurant visitors who had recently dined out.
A decisive factor when choosing a drink in a restaurant is the price; for 30% of the participants the price of soft drinks is too high. Most consumers aren’t willing to pay a high price for boring, uncreative off the shelf drinks. Dining out is supposed to be a treat and an enjoyable experience; this shouldn’t only be reflected in the food but also in the (non-alcoholic) drinks on offer.
Up until now, this need has not been taken into account by most restaurants. Over the last few years, the majority of consumers say they have hardly noticed a difference as far as choice (51%), presentation (59%) or appropriate price (48%) of soft drinks is concerned.
An informative and inspiring menu would help, one which is finely tuned to the consumer habits of the guests in order to offer healthy and exciting alternatives. More than 60% of restaurant visitors opt for water-based fizzy soft drinks such as cola. Healthy alternatives from the same non-alcoholic category would offer a good chance of high profit. Attractive glasses, an extra decoration, as well as a personal recommendation by the staff would all help to convince the consumer the price of a soft drink is appropriate.
Restaurants should give the same amount of attention to soft drinks as they do to cocktails or wine; in order to make up for sales losses caused by lower levels of alcohol consumption. This not only reflects the trend towards healthy living. The choice for a non-alcoholic drink should also be a positive experience and not give the consumer the feeling that he is forgoing alcohol; which is frequently the case in restaurants.
You can find a detailed article about the survey results here.