How to recruit Gen Z and boost sales by £72m

Retailers need to change with the times to appeal to the next generation of consumers. Building a compelling range of on-the-go soft drinks can play a key role in attracting Generation Z, which now accounts for around 15% of the UK population

Reading time: 5 minutes

Britvic is on a recruitment drive, and we’re taking our convenience retail partners with us. We’ve built up a portfolio of tasty and refreshing soft drinks backed by relevant branding, great marketing campaigns and authentic values to appeal to the next generation of consumers. 

It’s a prize worth chasing. As we explored in our 2023 Britvic Soft Drinks Review[1], encouraging more people belonging to Generation Z – that’s anyone born between 1997 and 2010 – to buy more soft drinks for immediate consumption could earn a £72m sales boost for the UK’s convenience retailers. That’s an extra £1,504 per store per year. But how? 

Increase opportunities for immediate refreshment

Gen-Zers buy more soft drinks for on-the-go consumption than any other age group. In 2022 68.5% of Generation Z bought a soft drink for on-the-go consumption, up from 64.5% in 2020. Retailers can tap into this and reap the rewards (on-the-go formats offer higher margins and command a higher price per litre) by increasing the opportunities to grab drinks on the go.  Ensuring chillers are well-stocked and easy to navigate, as well as guaranteeing a full supply of chilled bottles and cans of the bestsellers – Pepsi MAX®, Tango and Rockstar Energy - are sure-fire hits with Gen-Zers.

Add excitement to your chillers

Gen-Zers state that the appearance of new flavours in chillers is what’s most likely to motivate them to make a soft drinks purchase. Therefore adding excitement to chillers in the form of new flavours can be a key sales driver.

Just look at the success of Tango Berry Peachy Sugar Free, the limited-edition flavour that we launched for summer 2022 and went on to become the most successful flavoured carbonate launch of the year. We’ve followed that up in 2023 with Tango Paradise Punch Sugar Free, as well as Pepsi MAX Mango and new flavours for Rockstar Energy.

Help Gen-Z live healthier lives

Generation Z is also more health conscious and less likely to drink alcohol than older consumers. But that doesn’t mean they’re prepared to miss out on sophisticated drinks with interesting flavour profiles. Try offering drinks like our Aqua Libra seltzers and J2O Spritz as part of evening meal deals to appeal to those who do not drink alcohol and drive up basket spend.

Purdey’s Natural Energy and Aqua Libra are also proving a hit with health-conscious Gen-Zers during the day. Capitalise on this by putting these brands in key spots in chillers and promote them in lunch and snack meal deals. Aqua Libra pairs perfectly with salads or fresh fruit, while Purdey’s works well in link deals with Kind Protein Bars and Quaker Oat-So-Simple Pouches.

Demonstrate genuine values

Gen-Zers are most likely to be concerned with mental health, social justice and environmental issues and 62% expect the brands they buy to be involved in campaigning for social justice.

We see our brands as forces for good. Tango, for example, has teamed up with The Prince’s Trust – the largest UK charity supporting young people in education and employment – to help the new generation build self-belief. The three-year partnership kicked off in September 2022, and is set to return this year, with bold cans bearing the Trust’s message and a donation of £100k to the charity.

Interact with them online

Gen-Zers grew up during the dawning of the digital age. They are the first generation in human history to have enjoyed near universal access to the internet. 97% of Generation Z own a smart phone and they spend more time online – playing games, interacting on social media, streaming music, watching TV, etc – than any other age group.

We’re right there with them. Pepsi Max has recently teamed up with EA Sports FC 24 as part of a campaign that will elevate gamers' experiences and let players unlock in-game rewards from participating Pepsi Max products. Rockstar Energy is also establishing itself as the drink for the digital generation, running on-pack promotions in partnership with gaming franchises like Halo and Fallout, teaming up with pro gamers, online creatives and musicians including global sensation Stormzy, who starred in an exclusive online gig on Spotify for us in July.

[1] All figures cited in this article are from the 2023 Britvic Soft Drinks Review, unless otherwise stated.

Sign up today

Together, we'll help you save time, reduce costs and build your business.

Register now