Plastic straw cocktail

Focus On: Adult Soft Drinks by Rob Brown and Natalie Brown

Download the synopsis here

Publishing: 8 December

Submissions deadline: 16 November

Advertising deadline 23 November


The Story

It’s time to shake up the adult soft drinks aisle. A new wave of challengers are looking to sell their innovative, unusual and premium wares. We’ve had mixers containing cayenne pepper, soft drinks with flavours of star anise and craft cola coffee from the UK’s biggest retailer. So who are these challengers? What are they offering that established brands don’t? How are big brands taking on board these trends? Who have what it takes to make it big, and who will fall by the wayside as the soft drink aisles become more competitive than ever?

Key themes:

Brands: Who are the new kids on the block in the adult soft drinks market? How are established brands fighting back with their own twists on the craft movement?

Own label: Although still a small part of the adult soft drinks category, own label is keen to keep up with trends. Tesco has a craft range including a coffee cola, while Asda has had strong growth with its White Grape Sparkling Juice Drink. Who is being the most innovative? And who is reaping the rewards?

Squash: There has been something of a squash revival, with value sales up 53%. What is behind this?

Tea: RTD tea has had a strong year – up 28.3% in value – on the back of big brand launches. To what extent can this continue?

Ingredients: What are the most on-trend ingredients in adult soft drinks? What benefits do they claim to offer?


Kantar data: Using Kantar commentary, we explain the performance of the different sub-categories of the adult soft drinks market

Nielsen data: We explain the performance of the top brands within the context of the overall market.


We identify twelve new products that ideally have not appeared in The Grocer before. including launch date, image and RSP.

Key questions the feature is likely to address:

 What consumer trends have impacted the category over the past year?

 How have promotional strategies (both in terms of price and marketing) evolved?

 How has merchandising changed in the market?


Online Listicle to go live on 7 December: The new adult soft drinks capitalising on posh cocktail culture