We often remind consumers who rave about the latest craft gin revolution that they may be forgetting those who have gone before them. In ignoring the spirit’s history, many do not quite appreciate that without the success of one there wouldn’t be the next…
So, it’s with full knowledge of the context of Schweppes’ impressive history and the heritage behind soft drinks with bars that we say – without Fever-Tree, there would be none of the other tonics that have come to market since 2009. There wouldn’t be such a surge in the renewed interest in the G&T, and there certainly wouldn’t be as many high-end bars listing twists on the classic serve.
Fever-Tree have transformed the way in which people see tonic and in doing so, have made a huge impact on the way people perceive gin. It’s difficult to state just how big an impact they have had on drinking habits and in shifting the focus back to the origins of tonic and the importance of provenance.
Fever-Tree goes as far as the Congo, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Tanzania and Sicily to source the best ingredients for their range of premium natural mixers. Their Tonic Water uses the highest quality quinine blended with spring water and boasts a total of eight botanical flavours which include ingredients such as marigold extracts and bitter orange. No artificial sweeteners, preservatives or flavourings are added to the mix at any stage of the production. It’s impressive.
Their growth in 2014 was impressive too. Fever-Tree is now selling up to 50 million bottles a year and growing. They retail to 50 thirsty countries and have over 20 people working in the UK alone.
While they have benefited from a resurgent gin market – this alone cannot take the sole credit for their remarkable journey. A huge part of the success has come down to that same old reason – hard graft.
Following on from the success of their Gin & Tonic Fever event last year, the Fever-Tree team launched their very own Ultimate Gin & Tonic Bar in 2014. Housing over 160 different gins from distilleries all over the world, it was the perfect chance to finesse your ultimate Gin and Tonic combination.
For those who were keen to be experimental, they also featured ‘G&Tree flights’ where, each week, visitors could choose four different gins to sample with a variety of their tonic waters.
With thousands of customers descending on their pop-up, the team not only showed the interest there is in the humble G&T, but also the thirst for finding the perfect combination of gin, tonic and garnish. They also showed just why they have become so popular. Their continued focus on cross brand education combined with complete transparency over how and where they make their own product is remarkable.
It’s also quite unique. Very few are in a position to do it and the reception within the industry has shown just how welcomed that is. It’s not easy to find a brand so willing and able to talk about itself in the context of others. Pushing it further, being able to showcase how one can harness the best of not just their own tonic, but someone else’s gin (be it a pairing /garnish/ratio etc…).
Fever-Tree will no doubt grow from strength to strength for many years to come and will continue to cement their place as THE premium tonic water within the category. They have become both consumers and Gin brands’ go-to tonic and recommended serve.
2014 also saw Fever-Tree become a public company, successfully floating on the London AIM stock exchange. It’s a fantastic achievement and very exciting for the brand but also, it is a testament of the scale of their achievement when one considers they are only nine years old.
They also have no intention of resting on their laurels either. It’s not by chance that co-founder Charles Rolls has proclaimed that more of the same is to come, just bigger. With an established reputation for focusing on quality and authenticity, they have already put the wheels in motion for an exciting 2015.
With bar menus being custom-made for bars to assist with G&T flights, talk around the return of the Ultimate G&Tree pop-up bar and continued events and tastings, there’s plenty to keep an eye out for. A little birdy told us they’ve got something very special in the works launching in May 2015 too, with a direct match with Schweppes due to heat up the competition and see them take on a whole new area… More on this soon.
For more information about Fever-Tree Tonic, visit their website: fever-tree.com
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