Continuing our series looking behind the scenes at suppliers to the hospitality market, we catch up with Kate Fletcher, food service business unit director, Britvic.
Q How would you describe your business?
A Britvic is one of the UK's leading soft drinks companies with a wide-range of well-known soft drinks brands, including Robinsons, Tango, J2O and Fruit Shoot, and through our relationship with PepsiCo, we also produce, market, sell and distribute brands such as Pepsi, 7Up, Gatorade, Lipton Iced Tea and V Water. As a business, we work closely with our customers, offering advice on their ranging and display to ensure that they maximise their soft drinks sales.
Q What is the company's objective?
A When it comes to food service we aim to be an essential partner for all our food service customers, helping them to drive their business through soft drinks sales.
Q What are the current issues facing your food service customers?
A Given the diverse nature of the food service channel, the current economic climate is very challenging for many of our customers. Our role as a soft drinks partner is to provide the right brands, the right marketing support and the right advice to maximise soft drinks spend during the current economic downturn.
Q How do you help them address these issues?
A Fundamentally, the challenges are the same across all food service channels - outlets need to drive footfall, to drive soft drinks sales and they need to increase customer spend once consumers are in their outlet. We ensure that our brands, category strategies and tactics are supporting each or all of these objectives. This might be through providing meal deal or day-part solutions, rate of sale-driving promotional mechanics, or simply working to ensure outlets carry the right range and choice of soft drinks to meet the needs of their customers.
Q What are the questions your customers ask most regularly?
A Generally our customers want to know how they can best meet the changing needs of their consumers and marketplace, particularly in the current climate, to ensure their business is best placed to grow both now and when the economic outlook improves.
Q What do you believe will be the next big trend in your market?
A Consumers' habits have undoubtedly changed during this recession and we expect to see many of these new habits remain as we come out of it, so consumers will continue to look for good value. This isn't necessarily about paying the cheapest price but is about them receiving value for money in all their purchases. Offers may be tailored to increase growth across all outlet types and formats. From a product point of view, I think we'll see the continuing trade off between ‘better for you' and ‘indulgence' as consumers strike the balance between what they enjoy and what's good for them. Equally, we would expect functional products to continue to grow.
Q Where does the company stand on sustainability issues?
A Britvic is extremely committed to sustainability and is constantly looking at ways of reducing our impact on the environment. Developing new water and energy efficiencies in our factories, minimising our packaging to reduce waste to landfill, supporting our local and global communities and supporting healthy lifestyles and employee wellbeing are just a few of the things we are currently focusing on. We are committed to playing our part, as an employer, company and as a responsible business, and each year we report on our progress through our Corporate Responsibility Report.
Q Long term, where's the business going?
A Given the strength of the Britvic business across all routes to market, we are able to understand UK shoppers and consumers wherever they go. This makes us ideally placed to continue to drive soft drinks category growth and really establish Britvic as the indispensible soft drinks partner for the food service market.
Company name Britvic Soft Drinks
Address Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex
Area of operation UK, Ireland & Europe Products Soft drinks
Brands Robinsons, Tango, J2O, Fruit Shoot, drench and drench juicy spring water. Included within the portfolio are Pepsi, 7Up, Gatorade, Lipton Iced Tea and V Water, under license from PepsiCo.
Market sectors Restaurants, hotels, cost sector, licensed, retail
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