Peach Report

Grow up! The case for better soft drinks

6 July, 2010

by David Martin

The situation of the non-drinker has been likened to the way vegetarians were treated 20 years ago.

Soft drinks in the pub trade have been the subject of trenchant criticism for so long, that you wonder if the status quo has become accepted as the norm. Whether that criticism is about the price, or about the range, the category has long been a poor relation, writes David Martin.

So far, this is a familiar story. But, let’s consider some evolving societal issues.

Firstly, the incidence of teetotalism in the UK, according to government data, is higher now than it was ten years ago. The ‘Drinking: adults’ behaviour and knowledge in 2009’ report shows that in 2009 the proportion of adults who claimed not to drink was 15%. Although this figure is not consistently rising every year, at the start of the decade it stood at 12%.

Secondly, the probability of not drinking alcohol rises with age. In that same report, 30% of women over 65 claimed not to have drunk alcohol in the last year, compared to 19% of all women; the comparable figures for men are 15% were 12%. There’s no need to dwell on the rising significance of this mature market in the future.

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