The soft drinks category is worth £3.3bn annually to convenience retailers [Nielsen], making it a big opportunity, particularly during the summer months. Key opportunities include:

Soft drinks with food – BBQs and on-the-go snacking

Research shows merchandising food and drink together can double shopper engagement and increase sales by up to 32% [Connecta].

Stocking sharing packs of soft drinks alongside meals and snacks can help shoppers grab everything they need for a summer BBQ or picnic.

Almost one-third of soft drink shoppers in convenience are on a food-to-go mission [Lumina], so displaying single cans and bottles in chillers next to sandwiches can drive incremental sales.

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Summer socialising – festivals and sporting events

This summer there are a host of sporting events including UEFA EURO 2024 and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which will encourage families and friends to get-together. This presents an opportunity for retailers to create theatre and cross-category displays to engage shoppers.

Summer festival-goers are increasingly bringing their own drinks to events as a cost-saving measure [CGA], which presents an opportunity for nearby stores.

Energising break – ready-to-drink coffee and energy

The ready-to-drink (RTD) chilled coffee sector continues to grow, up 12.5% in convenience with sales peaking during the summer months [Nielsen]. The nation’s favourite coffee shop brand, Costa Coffee [Allegra], offers a range of RTD Lattes, Flat Whites and Frappés.

Energy drinks account for a third (33%) of soft drinks sales value in convenience [Nielsen], with innovation driving growth. More than half (59%) of total energy category growth in GB retail was driven by Monster in 2023 [NIQ].

Delivering value

77% of shoppers say they have a very value-led attitude [Lumina]. Price-marked packs are one way to reassure shoppers that they are getting value for money and offer convenience retailers a point of difference versus supermarkets. Soft drinks PMPs are worth £1.3bn [Nielsen].  

Top tips to drive sales

Research suggests that optimising your range and perfecting the layout of your soft drinks fixture can lead to a 28% uplift in sales [Nielsen/Shopper Intelligence]. There are three core principles to follow:

Right range – Use sales data to build a range of best-selling lines across each soft drink segment. Give major brands like Coca-Cola, Fanta and Monster enough space to avoid out of stocks while also making space for new launches.

Right space – Consider which soft drink segments are going to drive sales when allocating space. For example, colas account for 21.1% of soft drinks sales [Nielsen], so you should dedicate roughly a quarter of your chiller to cola – including zero sugar options like Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and flavoured colas like Coca-Cola Lemon.

Make sure you dedicate the right amount of space to emerging segments like ready-to-drink chilled coffee too.

Right layout – Shoppers look for major brands as a ‘signpost’ to the product they want, so ensure brands like Coca-Cola, Fanta, Monster, Schweppes and Costa Coffee RTD are merchandised in high visibility locations.

Stocking soft drinks alongside complementary categories – such as take-home packs with BBQ items – can also help shoppers pick up everything they need.

Visit/register on for more guidance.

Retailer testimonial

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Bay Bashir, owner of Go Local Belle Vue Convenience, says:

“Soft drinks are a key driver of sales in my store. Monster Energy is a real favourite, and the likes of Coca-Cola and Fanta are always going to be popular. Shoppers also get excited by new flavours and innovations, like Coca-Cola Lemon and Monster Juiced Bad Apple which launched earlier this year – they’ve both been really popular so far. is a great place to go for business support. You can order POS, which is great for getting shoppers excited about the newest launches and promotions. And there are some great competitions for retailers to enter too – it’s brilliant to see a leading supplier like CCEP taking the time to recognise the hard work retailers do.”

Key products to stock

Big brands remain key – and that includes

  • Coca-Cola, the No.1 soft drinks brand in GB [Nielsen]
  • Fanta and Dr Pepper, the No.1 and No. 2 flavoured carbonates brands [Nielsen]
  • Schweppes, the No.1 mixers brand in convenience [Nielsen
  • Monster, which is the fastest-growing energy brand in GB [Nielsen].

Find out more about Coca-Cola’s plans for this year.  

You can access category advice, details of the latest launches, POS materials and much more by visiting – where you can also add to your next wholesale order, and enter seasonal retailer promotions for the chance to win great prizes!