There are now more than 100 premium mixer brands globally, according to Fever-Tree CEO Tim Warrillow, who says none of these “copycat brands” have curtailed its spectacular growth.
Warrillow told the Drinks Adventures podcast that the concept of premium mixers was initially met with scepticism from investors, when he and co-founder Charles Rolls went in search of funding.
“We met in 2003, but the first product didn’t come off the line until 2005. That’s because we spent an awful lot of time researching and developing the product, but we also spent quite a bit of time raising some funds and talking to people in the industry,” he said.
“And what was interesting is that everywhere we turned, so-called industry experts; investors, just didn’t believe in the opportunity.
“They thought there were a couple of big players that dominated it and they questioned whether we could get people’s interest.
“What is now hard to remember is quite how overlooked and forgotten and how uninterested the trade were in this category.”
Fever-Tree mixers are now sold in over 75 countries globally and the company is listed on the London Stock Exchange with a market cap of 2.46 billion pounds.
Warrillow said this performance is in spite of the massive influx of competitors in the premium mixer category that the company pioneered.
“At the last count, we counted over 100 – I have to say we describe them as ‘me too’ or copycat brands – that have come into this premium mixer category,” he said.
“So there has been no shortage of people, from the biggest companies to the smallest companies, having a go at the category.
“And in principle, of course, having more people engaged in the category is a positive thing, because it creates interest and engagement on a wider scale.
“But selfishly, I’m pleased to say that they haven’t taken out much of a dent of our share.
“I sit here in the UK, and this is where the competition has been most intense. But we currently have over 35 per cent of the category and all those other premiums together account for two or three per cent, so fortunately we are still staying well ahead of them.”