By Lucy Richardson, Associate Director
This new years’ day, I was interested to see the PR launch of Club Soda, a campaign aiming to encourage ‘mindful drinking’ amongst Londoners. In an interview with Sky News and in their launch press release, the campaign organisers were keen to highlight that this wasn’t about total abstinence like Dry January, focusing more on the need for pubs and bars to offer a better range of non-alcoholic drinks to consumers looking to socialise without getting boozed up (a concept practically unheard of 15 years ago).
I found it interesting that they led with the angle of could mindful drinking actually save the British Pub, as that’s in stark contrast to Dry January, which certainly caused a lot of pain to licensees last year when record numbers of Brits went cold turkey for the month. The drinks industry has been proactively advocating drinking in moderation to consumers for many years now in response to health concerns from the government and whether it’s solely the impact of the drinks industry’s efforts or also (more likely) to do with the trend for clean eating and looking good, more and more of us seem to be opting to drink less booze these days. Whilst people living healthier lifestyles can only be a good thing, it does mean our pubs and bars need to respond to the change in consumer behaviour if they are to survive and thrive in future, so it will be interesting to see how the Club Soda campaign is received and whether it makes licensees take their soft drinks range more seriously.