Selling at a premium

16 November, 2016

There is new packaging for the UK launch, in what Benjamin describes as the type of bottle that will look good on the back bar.

Looks are important and Juan Carlos Maroto, marketing director at Vantguard, says 1724’s packaging is perfectly aligned with the brand’s proposition: “We use a premium bottle that meets the premium price positioning and we use orange colours because the flowers of the quinine tree are this colour. It’s not a marketing gimmick.”

The firm is currently upgrading the G&T serve with tools that Maroto says other tonic waters don’t usually have, such as balloon glasses and a glass chiller to cool them down before the service.

John Moreira, international director at Fever-Tree, says good tonic is absolutely essential to G&T. “If a customer is already willing to spend money on a quality gin, why then pair it with a poor-quality, artificially sweetened tonic when, for just a little bit more, you can offer a much better drinking experience?

“From the outset our tagline and the brand’s insight has been: ‘If three-quarters of your drink is the mixer, make sure you mix with the best’. In short, we think a great simple mixed drink deserves a great mixer.”

He adds that there’s no doubt the trends toward natural ingredients, provenance and authenticity have benefited the Fever-Tree brand and allowed it to command a premium.

The latest addition to the range in the UK is an Aromatic Tonic. “This rose pink tonic follows our principles to use only the highest quality natural ingredients,” says Moreira. “In this case Angostura bark from South America, which provides a sophisticated extension to our tonic portfolio. It’s a product with a wonderful history – having been prescribed by British Navy surgeons as a fever remedy or ‘tonic’ in the early 19th century – it seemed too good an ingredient for us to ignore.” He says distribution will be extended internationally next year.

Moreira says the gin renaissance has created great interest across numerous international markets, especially throughout Europe, but he believes the more interesting story of late is the success of the brand’s ginger beer and ginger ale and the addition of Fever-Tree Madagascan cola, which gives a full portfolio of mixers to serve with dark spirits. “This, we are sure, is due in part to the resurgence of the Moscow Mule and Whisky Ginger. Increasingly evident are the number of spirits brands, white and dark, which are keen to promote with us and capture these consumer preferences.”


At Vantguard, Maroto says it has been working hard on giving 1724 “greater mixability” when compared with other tonic waters. “1724 goes especially well with new age white spirits such as cachaça, pisco, platinum rum, tequila and mezcal. For instance, in Mexico we’ve a strong partnership with Meteoro mezcal where the star perfect serve is Meteotonic with 1724 tonic water.”

Sylwia Haczkiewicz, export manager at Fentimans, says each market is very different which means you can always find “surprising ways” to consume their drinks.

New drinks creations include Fentimans Sorbet, a concept developed by customers in Austria – it’s simply rose lemonade, gin and sorbet served in a large gin glass. Then Rosecco (rose lemonade and prosecco) is doing well in Romania and Italy, while Espresso Rose – freshly roasted speciality espresso served with slightly sparking rose lemonade – is going down a storm at the Strange Love café bistro in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


Nick Strangeway

Could bars be no-phone zones?

For about six hours in early October the world was brought to a standstill. However, it wasn’t the outbreak of a global pandemic that spread panic, but the simultaneous crash of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.