fever-tree brands report drinks international

Brands Report 2021: Tonic water

14 January, 2021

Fever-Tree has been named the number one tonic brand for the seventh year running and after a flurry of arrivals in recent years, the category is looking a little more settled. It’s always been the one mixer a bar can’t do without and in 2020, true to type, every bar polled stocked tonic water.

More interestingly, two-thirds of our sample said they stock two lines and a half three or more. The brand that is most likely to be pulled from the fridge is Fever-Tree. And these days, that could be any one of nine different models, though its Premium Indian tonic water is the benchmark. Forty per cent of polled bars said Fever-Tree was their house tonic. More than two-thirds said it was one of the three they most serve. So, pretty dominant – but Fever-Tree’s share has been dropping in our poll over the past two years as others nibble at its quota. But no need to panic – Fever-Tree is still the tonic brand call. A third of our sample said it was the trending tonic.

Schweppes, meanwhile appears to have steadied the ship. With its higher-end Signature Collection pushing hard to reclaim ground and a Coca-Cola-wide renewed focus on the bar trade, the brand was the house pour in 14% of those polled and one of the top-three tonics in 30%. London Essence, though, is the category mover over recent years, climbing a further place to third in our list. This Britvic-owned premium tonic might not be doing the volumes of some, but has zeroed in on the high-end trade. Eleven per cent said it was their first choice, and a quarter said it was among their top three. No surprises to see it near the top of the Trending list too.

Three Cents, founded in Greece but with an international outlook, is building accounts too – 8% had it as their house. In the seven years we’ve been polling on tonic, Fever-Tree has topped the list, followed by Schweppes. But next – on average – would be Fentimans from the UK. The ‘botanically brewed’ brand is a consistent performer,  finishing  fifth this year – 20% said it was one of their top-three. The German brand Thomas Henry, New Zealand-produced East Imperial and Spanish 1724 were top three tonics in 10% of bars. Q and Britvic complete our list.



The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.

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