News & Events

Wednesday 09 December, 2015

As the holiday season begins, Wholesale Sales Director Simon Harrison, discusses the soft drinks sales opportunity for retailers and wholesalers

Coca-Cola is a brand that is synonymous with the festive period – our ‘Holidays are coming’ advert, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, often signals the official countdown to Christmas for many consumers.

It goes without saying that it’s a season that presents a huge trading opportunity for our customers.

Research has shown that the soft drink category has the second biggest penetration of any food and drink category[1]. It is one of the best performing food and drinks categories during the festive period, with last year’s sales helping to cap a fantastic 2014 in the wholesale channel, which saw the category rise by 7%. With 8.4 soft drink purchases per shopper in the run up to Christmas[2], products are bought by shoppers more than once a week, making it a key sales opportunity for retailers over the holiday season.

The most important thing for both retailers and wholesalers is to be prepared by getting their product ranges right, and making the most of the 95% of households enjoying soft drinks[3] over the festive period.

Our customers are our number one priority, particularly as we approach the festive months. We continue to work collaboratively with both wholesalers and retailers to make sure our range and new product launches. Ranges including special Christmas editions like this year’s bow bottle and Christmas truck tour on-pack promotion, and seasonal adult soft drinks favourites like Appletiser and Schweppes, help to continue delivering growth.

We recognise that different retailers have different needs and we appreciate that large cases of stock aren’t always practical in some stores, particularly those with limited storage space. To reflect this, this year we have introduced a new 12 x 500ml PET case format to wholesalers across selected flavoured carbonates, giving them greater flexibility to stock up on cases as products sell through – something that is particularly relevant at Christmas time. We’ve also introduced some striking in-store POS in line with this year’s truck tour, to help retailers capture the theatre of the occasion and heightening awareness of the promotion, in turn boosting footfall.

For more information on this year’s Christmas activations, or to find out how CCE can support your business this year call 01733 828 000.

In the meantime, here’s my seasonal top tips:

  • Get your range right: Look to best-selling brands that are driving soft drinks sales, and be sure to check which products are the focus of Christmas advertising or marketing campaigns.
  • Stock special Christmas editions: Brands often launch special packaging or seasonal formats for Christmas. Stock special editions like the Coca-Cola bow bottle range prominently to capitalise on the limited edition opportunity.
  • Focus on sharing formats: Christmas social occasions mean that sharing formats, such as 1.75L PET bottles, and 330ml can multipacks, are particularly important at this time. Keep stocks high, and consider keeping some chilled to make the most of impromptu gatherings.
  • Consider special offers and ‘meal deals’: Why not offer discount ‘meal deals’ when soft drinks are bought alongside food items that are popular at parties or family gatherings?


[1] Kantar WorldPanel 8 w/e 5 Jan 2014

[2] Kantar WorldPanel 8 w/e 5 Jan 2014

[3] Kantar WorldPanel 8 w/e 5 Jan 2014

Simon Harrison

Director, Wholesale GB


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