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June 4, 2021

Elimination of free refills in UK limits on-premise recovery for soft drinks – analysis

At what is already a challenging time for the on-premise channel in the UK - with the country's restaurants posting a 32% slump last year to a forecast GBP21.8bn (US$30.8bn) - the UK Government is set to ban free refills from fountains in restaurants from April 2022.

By Olly Wehring

At what is already a challenging time for the on-premise channel in the UK – with the country’s restaurants posting a 32% slump last year to a forecast GBP21.8bn (US$30.8bn) – the UK Government is set to ban free refills from fountains in restaurants from April 2022.

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Although this promotes health & wellness to consumers, the move also places a further risk on soft drinks sales in the country’s on-premise.

“According to recent research by GlobalData, 50% of the UK population is ‘extremely’ or ‘somewhat’ concerned about their physical health and fitness,” says GlobalData beverages analyst Holly Inglis. “The Government’s move, which is designed to combat the excessive consumption of full-sugar drinks, should help to improve obesity rates improve while adhering to consumer sentiment towards healthier offerings.

“However, the new legislation also has the potential to adversely impact the sales of carbonated soft drinks in restaurants, which will hinder growth for brand owners.

GlobalData’s most recent survey in the UK highlights that 'convenience' (22%) and 'value for money' (15%) are two of the greatest benefits of restaurant-prepared food and drinks; both of which apply to free-refill beverages.”

Inglis continues: “Meanwhile, one in ten (10%) consumers also highlight that natural product claims are attractive, when it comes to their restaurant experience. This presents an opportunity for beverage brands on drinks fountains, going forward.

“Although CSD brand owners may see health & wellness as a sales hindrance, avenues remain open to help the top-line to grow, while also promoting healthier cues.

How soft drinks can make the most of the reopening on-premise and foodservice channels - Click here for a Just Drinks comment

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Free Report
img

How is technology having an impact on Consumer buying behavior?

As the world rapidly becomes more connected, it is important for brands to understand the impact that improved technology is having on consumer purchasing behaviors. To react effectively, brands must know how to engage with increasingly digitally savvy consumers. GlobalData’s latest Trend Tracker report provides an analysis of Digital Lifestyles – one of GlobalData's top consumer trends for 2022. The report includes an overview of how digital lifestyles are evolving, including the significant impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on accelerating digitalization, and how this trend is emerging across different Consumer sectors. Key features included in the report:
  • A breakdown of the trend’s prominence across sectors
  • Insights into consumer online penetration, preferred electronic devices and engagement
  • The key drivers and challenges impacting the digital lifestyles trend
  • A spotlight on key innovations set to reshape the consumer landscape
  • Analysis of what’s next for digital innovations and how brands can leverage the trend
Download this report to keep in touch with the more digital consumer.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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