Adults have arguably been under-represented in the soft drinks aisles. But the increased penetration of sophisticated brands such as Bottlegreen and Belvoir in mainstream retail is beginning to change that.

Belvoir MD Pev Manners still feels that overall, "there's not that interesting a range out there for adults", but notes that demand for its premium cordials and pressés is growing strongly. This growth has been spearheaded by traditional favourite varieties such as elderflower and ginger, but Manners is also seeing strong demand for newer flavours, such as raspberry and rose, and promises lots more NPD towards the end of 2011.

Shloer also continues to carve out a strong niche for itself, targeting 30 to 60-year old women. Its Best Served Shared campaign, which ran throughout 2010, reinforced the message that Shloer is a good alternative to wine, according to Amanda Grabham, head of brand marketing.

"Since we embarked on the Best Served Shared campaign in 2009, sales have simply rocketed," she claims. 

Bottlegreen Drinks is another brand that seems to be going from strength to strength, with £25m sales, and flavours ranging from the traditional (such as elderflower) to the exotic (such as ginger and lemongrass). MD Simon Speers believes that as most soft drinks fixtures are still aimed resolutely at younger consumers, there is huge scope for growth in the adult soft drinks market.

"The key is to devise flavours that are unique to this demographic, are sophisticated and address the different ways drinks are consumed," he says. The big challenge, he adds, is to provide "a unique and credible offering for the male market that is a desirable alternative to alcohol".

This was the thinking behind The Juice Brewery's launch of WP Hopper soft brew drinks. The drinks, which come in apple, blackcurrant and citrus flavours are made using traditional brewing methods, resulting in a soft drink with a beer-like head and a complex flavour profile.

"People are looking beyond traditional one-dimensional flavours and lots of added sugar," explains The Juice Brewery founder Greg Watson.

Focus On Soft Drinks