Category Focus: In the mix
With Ireland’s mixers category valued at €12.5 million, it’s worth mixing up your offering to ensure you’re stocking the bestsellers both new and old
18 September 2019 | 0
The soaring popularity of gin in recent years has lifted up Ireland’s mixer segment, with older favourites facing new competition from esoteric smaller brands trading on their fresh ingredient characteristics and home-made image.
Some of Ireland’s bestknown brands have capitalised on that popularity, while smaller bespoke brands have innovated in every area to appeal to consumers keen to make every G&T potentially the best they’ve ever had.
Read on for a brief roundup of some of the brands at both ends of the spectrum.
Following a rise in the popularity of consumers drinking less but of better quality, there has been particular growth in the premium soft drinks and mixers market. This, combined with the long-term trend of lighter, lower calorie and lower-sugar drinks, means there has been a need for brands to broaden their product offering to include ‘healthier choices’ that strengthen consumers’ overall drinking experience in terms of taste, serve and enjoyment.
At the forefront of this evolving category and lighter drinking movement is The London Essence Company, a premium drinks brand producing elegantly distilled mixers designed to accentuate the finest spirits. Each expression is delicately light at under 20kcal per 100ml, low in sugar at under 4g per 100ml and is crafted without the use of artificial sweeteners, thanks to its unique use of distilled essences.
Meanwhile, capitalising on opportunities existing in other drinking categories, namely wine and vodka, and helping to deliver significant growth in their adult portfolio, London Essence launched a range of flavoured soda waters in the past year. Again, ideal to drink on their own, the soda range can be mixed to create unique twists to white wine or prosecco spritzers, as well as elevating the popular Vodka Soda serve to new heights.
The London Essence range is designed to bring out the best in gins, vodkas and dark spirits through mixer varieties including Classic Tonic Water, Grapefruit & Rosemary Tonic, Bitter Orange & Elderflower Tonic, a delicate Ginger Ale and a Spiced Ginger Beer. The flavoured craft Soda Water range pairs perfectly to enhance old favourites such as Vodka Sodas and Prosecco Spritzes. Available in White Peach & Jasmin, Rhubarb & Cardamom and an Elderberry & Hibiscus, the brand also plans to expand on this range in 2020.
Lifting Irish sprits
Even since unveiling a complete relaunch of its iconic range back in 2017, changes continue at Club, Ireland’s number one mixer brand.
Both the Club Mixers, Club Tonic Water and the Club Ginger Ale were reformulated recently, to below the sugar tax threshold, joining the rest of Club’s mixer portfolio. The two quickly received recognition, with the new Tonic Water successfully regaining a Superior Taste Award (3-Star) and Ginger Ale gaining its first Superior Taste Award (2-Star) from the International Taste and Quality Institute.
Following up on these successes, Club is set to roll out a significant marketing campaign which will include experiential and sampling marketing, consumer PR, trade press, point of purchase communications and digital support. The brand is keen to not only retain its relevance with loyal consumers, but also bring in new drinkers.
“We are very excited about the Club Mixers brand,” says Brian Greer, brand manager, Britvic Ireland, “as it was very important for us to keep such an iconic Irish brand contemporary and relevant to the modern consumer. “Our focus has always been to deliver a unique and superior taste experience,” Greer says, “which is why being internationally recognised as delivering an exceptional taste was such a proud moment for the brand’s key varieties in Tonic Water and Ginger Ale, and reaffirms the strength of our offering in such a competitive space.
“We are delighted with our two new products,” he adds, “ensuring we kept to our key objective of not compromising on taste when reducing the sugar content in each.”
Club Mixers are available in non-returnable glass bottles in both 125ml and 200ml for the on-trade, as well as a four-pack 200ml glass pack and 850ml PET for the grocery channel.
The mixologist’s choice
Produced in Wexford by Enniscorthy-based Clodagh Davis, Naturally Cordial is made from organic citrus and local Irish soft fruits. These cordials are made using just four natural ingredients: water, fruit, sugar and a small quantity of citric acid. Cordials love company, and can be mixed with a range of different spirits and botanicals to create drinks that are truly bursting with flavour. With more than ten flavours available, Naturally Cordial has also worked with a range of premium Irish gin producers to expertly match the right cordial to a specific gin. The result? Standout drinks that appeal to everyone.
The cordials make the most magnificent non-alcoholic “mocktails”. Naturally Cordial has created an extensive list of mocktails to cater for their growing popularity. What’s more, when heated with spices, Naturally Cordial makes a delicious alternative to mulled wine. The award-winning range consists of 13 flavours including Lemon & Lime, Aromatic Lemon, Lemon & Raspberry, Lemon & Passionfruit, Lemon & Lime Leaf and more.
For Instagram-worthy drinks recipes, visit the Naturally Cordial website: naturallycordial.ie/recipes.