"Sales of water in pubs and bars are up a whopping 27% in value and 23% in volume"
I'm going to begin my very first column for inapub by revealing this astounding fact: one in five adults in the UK is now teetotal.
It's a proper number, honest, from the Office for National Statistics no less.
Against such a backdrop, the news from the annual Britvic Soft Drinks Review that sales of water in pubs and bars are up a whopping 27% in value and 23% in volume, is perhaps less surprising than it seems at first glance. Yet, when was the last time you gave your bottled water range a second thought?
Well, you need to, because if it's not the sort of range that excites anyone, then those drinkers are going to plump for tap water instead and that's bad news for your bottom line.
In fact, estimates already suggest as many as one in three soft drinks consumed in pubs is tap water, a choice that represents not just the loss of a sale but a cost to your business.
To combat this you need to seriously consider your whole soft drinks range, which is lucky because softies are one of the most dynamic sectors in drink right now.
This month alone we've had J20's new grown-up Spritz range and a huge push for Schweppes; we're all familiar with posh tonic these days and we're seeing the emergence of a craft soda category.
Soft drink manufacturers complain the on-trade is slow to innovate - and no wonder when we all know how generous are the margins offered by post-mix.
But bog standard pints of lukewarm, slightly flat, ungarnished coke no longer cut it for today's (non) drinkers. And the consequences of not offering a compelling choice of soft drinks won't be converting those drinkers to post-mix - it will be losing them to a glass of tap water.
A decision, it is estimated, that leaves the pub industry out of pocket to the tune of £700m a year.
Now that really is an astounding fact.