Similar to its Beer Cave, which was launched as part of Premier’s Latest Thinking format in 2021, the latest concept is a chilled room that houses all soft drinks in one area of the store. It can size up to 200 sq ft, in stores at least 1,000 sq ft.
Kept cool with automatic doors, the soft drink caves are up to 30% cheaper to chill than normal refrigeration, helping retailers to save on energy costs.
The symbol group, which is owned by wholesaler Booker, said the caves also allowed retailers to hold an extended range, without having to use the stockroom, which was boosting soft drinks sales by over a third.
It said the “in-store theatre” it was creating was also an attractive factor for retailers, as it “pulled footfall to quiet areas of the store at the back”. Customers were also enjoying the “easier shopping mission”, according to Premier.
Holding upwards of 350 SKUs, the caves feature key brands including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Fanta, Tango, Red Bull, Monster, Relentless and Prime, with energy drinks and US brands becoming the biggest growth areas within soft drinks for Premier, The Grocer understands. It also holds lines from Booker’s Euro Shopper value range.
Premier said the range will change “from store to store” but key categories such as take-home, kids’ drinks, energy drinks and American brands were included.
Following the initial launch in Premier Barrys Halton Moor in August, there are now 12 stores with Pop Caves with an additional 10 in the pipeline at ”various stages of planning”.
”We have retailers contacting Booker and our RDMs asking to visit the stores with Pop Caves to speak to the retailers and see for themselves just how good a concept this is,” said a Booker spokeswoman.