DIAGEO: Uncovering trends beyond coke for Captain Morgan

SHARE helped DIAGEO understand consumers’ attitude towards high sugar soft drinks and how this is impacting Captain Morgan, which is designed to be mixed with Coca-Cola.

The carbonated soft drinks industry is in steady decline and consumers are seeking healthier alternatives to high sugar content and artificial sweeteners in soft drinks. This study addressed one of Diageo’s key concerns, that is – Do we see the same trend for the alcohol industry, in particular for Captain Morgan and Coke? Are Millennials looking for alternatives and if so, which ones?

Current perception, future alternatives

Our findings verified the increasing concerns surrounding high sugar content and artificial sweeteners in soft drinks. Across markets there was a lot more criticism of Coke as a standalone drink compared to Coke as a mixer with alcohol. We were able to confirm that Coke is still a popular mixer for Captain Morgan, but also identify emerging alternatives for mixers with Captain Morgan. Ginger beer was particularly popular in the UK and Ireland, whereas ‘coconut or punches’ were a more popular choice with Americans.

Americans showed to be the most experiential and open for new fruitier, flavour mixers with Captain Morgan, they also showed to be the most concerned and vocal about high sugar content in Coke. In comparison, the UK showed to be less concerned about sugar intake, but suggested a trend in increasing awareness that was likely to continue. Captain and Coke was a clear favourite amongst the UK audiences, though Captain and ginger beer, as well as Captain and Cherry Coke were emerging alternatives.

To bring these new flavours to life, we designed RTD cans that matched our core serve suggestions, while staying true to the Captain Morgan brand.

  • Research Director: Jasmin Fischer
  • Insights Analyst: Laura Daniells
  • Head of Creative: Robyn Saunders
  • Art Director: Harry Wright