On-trade to see love for ‘occasion’ experiences grow in 2024

Consumers are flocking to pubs, bars, and restaurants to mark special occasions like Valentines Day, according to the latest Fentimans Premium Soft Drinks and Mixers Market Report, in collaboration with CGA by NIQ. 
Download the 2024 Report

As consumers choose soft drinks to mark their special occasions, the importance of providing a range of premium soft drinks rises.


The annual Fentimans Premium Soft Drinks and Mixers Market Report today reveals the rise in occasion-led visits to hospitality venues, revealing interesting insights ahead of Valentine’s Day 2024.


The fifth edition of the report, in partnership with CGA by NIQ, explores the changing attitudes and behaviours of consumers in both the On-Trade and Off-Trade over the last 18 months. The report reveals that while casual occasions are more important than ever, special celebrations like Birthdays, Easter and Valentine’s Day remain an integral part of consumers’ engagement with On-Premise venues, as pubs, bars and restaurants offer opportunities for occasions that can’t be replicated elsewhere.


CGA’s BrandTrack survey found that two in five (42%) consumers have ventured out for food-led special or celebratory occasions in the last three months – a rise from a third up (33%) of consumers just 12 months ago. While wine is the most frequent choice of drink on these occasions, with 35% typically reaching for it, soft drinks sit in second place (26%), making soft drinks a more popular category than lager (23%) or cider (12%). Cocktails (15%) are another common choice, emphasising the need for good-quality, premium mixers in On-Trade venues.


Alongside this, data shows consumers are more likely to treat themselves when visiting On-Premise for special occasions, with more than a quarter (27%) revealing quality is a factor when choosing their beverage. For those opting for soft drinks, repeat purchases are common too, with three-quarters (75%) of consumers buying more than just one on a special occasion.


Mark Platten, Marketing Manager at Fentimans commented: “We have been through a period during the pandemic where many have missed out on special and celebratory occasions, which may be part of the reason behind the rise in occasion-led trips to hospitality venues and an increased desire to experience and taste every occasion. We can see this in the data, especially when it comes to birthdays but equally, we also see that consumers are looking to take advantage of occasions like Valentine’s Day and Easter, too.

This is a great opportunity for operators to offer something a little more special in celebration of these popular occasions, like Hall & Woodhouse and Vintage Inns who will be offering DIY prosecco sharing trays to customers in venues up and down the country for Valentines Day.


The 2024 Fentimans Premium Soft Drinks and Mixers Market Report provides many more insights into these key sectors of the On Premise. It combines CGA’s extensive market data with Fentimans’ experience to analyse the big market trends that will affect soft drinks and mixers in 2024, including the cost of living crisis, changing consumer habits and technology. Click here to download the full report for free.

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