From the city to the building site, Britons are looking at retailers’ ranges functional soft drinks to provide ways to quench their thirst and keep up with busy lifestyles.

Retail Newsagent looks at the different types of customer buying these functional soft drinks drinks and the opportunities available to increase sales.

City workers

Trend and health-conscious shoppers in big cities are always on the lookout for the next big thing and for Spar retailer Nicholson Boyd, who owns Pickles of London in Dalston this provides a big opportunity to profit.

One of the biggest trends for us is health drinks. We’ve recently started stocking a brand called SavSe smoothies which are really popular. We stock the whole range including Protein Punch, Super Green and Super Orange. The range of customers who buy these products is pretty wide but those in their early twenties to mid-thirties probably buy them the most. They will pick up a healthy drink to go alongside a salad for lunch, for example.

Although I think products like this are most popular in London I think this is a trend that’s happening everywhere. Even our water range now reflects it and we stock a Romanian water with a higher mineral content called Aquatique. Another successful recent addition to our range has been Club Mate, a low sugar high-caffeine soft drink.

Workmen

Those working long hours manually can be a key customer group in stores operating in residential areas. Mital Patel’s Bargain Booze Select Convenience in Brentwood, Essex sees 40% of its soft drinks sales come from energy drinks – much of which is bought by these customers

Energy drinks are the fastest-growing section of our soft drinks sales. People here work long hours and just need something to keep them going so they will often buy a few of these at a time. We’ve expanded our range of Monster and Relentless products to reflect the growth and our Coca-Cola rep comes in every two weeks to offer advice on the range we stock.

Healthier products don’t sell as well for us and we have just started stocking coconut water, although initial sales have been quite weak. Overall our sales are 40% energy drinks, 40% water and other soft drinks make up the other 20% of our sales.