Just how big can the soft drinks category be? A lot bigger than you ever imagined, if Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE) is to be believed.

The company have finally launched its Open More Business plan, the result of three years of research at a cost of more than £2million. The plan reveals that even though the category is worth a staggering £11.4billion already, Coca Cola believes that it can grow this by a staggering £1.4billion again over the next five years.

Coca-Cola has made known its intent to provide the leading drink – or at least to have ‘a very strong second offering’ – in every sector of the soft drinks market. With products like Coke, 7Up and Powerade in its locker, it’s obviously well on the way to achieving this aim in certain areas.

It seems obvious to say, but you’d expect a company like CCE to be intent on growing soft drinks sales, but it’s still a great fillip to the category when a company invests so much money and time in looking at new ways of extracting value from a long-established area of your store.

So, how do you see your slice of this £1.4billion? Simple: according to CCE this seemingly mammoth amount can be obtained by ensuring that everybody in the country buys one more soft drink every two weeks.

This turns what looks at first glance like a figure that most people would shrug their shoulders at and move on, into an achievable aim for smaller stores. Simple promotions and ideas can be put into place to make sure that you get the right range in place to offer your customers what they want, when they want it and served how they want it.

This research will benefit everybody – from small retailers to large, from smaller soft drinks companies to the big companies like Coca-Cola themselves, and for those people who matter most: the customer.