Fever-Tree is continuing its strong growth trajectory in the Australian market with sales increasing by 88 per cent last year, as formats and the off-premise help the premium mixer.

The popularity of gin and tonic continues to surge in Australia and as consumers also continue to seek out premium products and search for the best experience for their at-home consumption, brand like Fever-Tree as reaping the benefits.

Fever-Tree’s General Manager in Australia, Andy Gaunt, told The Shout that he was particularly proud of how the team had performed over the last year, and that such strong growth numbers had been achieved even with the pandemic.

“I am very happy with the growth and in such a challenging year. The benefit of our business has been working really hard on the availability and choice of premium mixers. One job has been encouraging consumers to consider that I’ve spent my hard earned cash on a great quality spirit and three-quarters of my drink is actually the mixer, so maybe I will pay a little bit more and get a great tasting drink all around.

“But we’ve also worked really hard on demonstrating the benefit of giving additional shelf space to Fever-Tree in the places where people buy their mixers. The growth is a combination of availability, so increased distribution of both formats but equally the well-documented rise of spirits and particularly gin during the last 12 months, as a continuation of pre-COVID.”

He added: “While our business, like many others, had severe challenges in the on-premise, our exposure to the on-premise was not as significant in Australia as perhaps some of our European colleagues where the businesses are much more balanced.

“And with that distribution growth that we achieved at the end of the of the 19, early 2020, where finally, we had an opportunity for consumers across Australia who wanted choice to have choice pretty much in most places where they were buying tonic water. So all these things combined have led to those growth numbers.”

Over the last year the Fever-Tree team has worked with a number of retailers in helping to understand the benefits of looking regularly at their shelf space and making sure they have the right products in place at the right time of year, but also to adapt to changing consumer trends.

That has seen Fever-Tree introduce low-sugar Indian tonic water and 500ml bottles and Gaunt told The Shout that flavours and formats are mutually important when it comes to managing a category.

“We’ve seen this in the soft drink category generally with large format bottles, 330ml bottles there’s formats that suit occasions, and the consumption of spirits has a strong lean towards conviviality and social gathering, entertaining moments. But it also has those quieter, treat myself, moments and that’s where the multi-pack and the 500ml formats for Fever-Tree play together.

“Australia is a country that is very evenly balanced between a multi-pack format for those quieter single drinks at home with a loved one, but then also the entertaining friends coming round and the larger bottles. So it was really important that we could offer a Fever-Tree option for those occasions.

“The 500ml was the right size for us, because it can serve four to six drinks so each guest you have is going to get a freshly-opened carbonated drink, rather than a 1.1-litre which our research in the UK showed around 20 per cent of those get poured down the sink.

“The larger format 500ml is our best performing off-trade SKU globally and we are absolutely seeing that now starting to have the same impact in Australia.”

Looking ahead, Gaunt added: “We remain the undisputed number one premium tonic brand in Australia and, as more Australians discover the benefits of premium long mixed drinks, we see great growth potential in the market.

“Earlier in the year, during periods of lockdown, we saw consumers selecting high quality products to make cocktails at home and this has continued as restrictions have eased. We are well positioned for the next twelve months, and I look forward to seeing more and more Australians enjoy Fever-Tree products in 2021.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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