The Fever Tree effect is responsible for the rapid growth of mixers over the past 12 months.
According to a new category report from soft drinks giant Britvic, mixer-specific drinks such as Fever Tree and the company’s own Britvic range rose by 15.3% last year to £359m, ahead of cola (+2.9% to £2.9bn) and other flavoured carbonated drinks (+4.3% to £62.3m).
Mixers now represent one of the biggest segments in licenced premises (by value) signalling the influence of premiumisation and the demand for high quality, low sugar alternatives.
Fever Tree saw the most growth out of the category as a whole, jumping 59.1% to £72m in the UK on-trade last year (CGA data for the year to Dec 31, 2016).
By comparison, Britvic’s own brand series of tonics grew +9.7% to £88m.
The review said 2016 had been a “transformational year” for soft drinks.
Mixers in particular saw large gains by following the trend for premiumisation and healthy living.
Industry giants have responded to these influences, with Britvic overhauling the branding of its existing mixer range in 2016, and Coca-Cola updating Schweppes.
Brands such as Dalston Cola, Fentimans and Franklin and Sons Indian Tonic Water also focused on the premium with updates.
The healthy living trend has also overflowed into the casual dining scene, with the growth of all-day dining and social brunches - particularly among moderate drinking millennials - providing more opportunities for adult soft drinks.
Brands that have been quick to recognise the opportunity to align themselves with the food styles that prevail in food-led outlets have enjoyed success, the report said.
Last year was also the year that the gap in the market for adult soft drinks was properly identified in the market, with notable successes including Seepdlip (Diageo) and Thomas & Evans (Britvic).
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