How did Fever-Tree’s share price grow 20x in five years? 🍸

When people quote your adverts as their own ideas, then you’ve got some good marketing. :wink:

Btw, CCEP recently released its Coca Cola signature mixers in the GB market, which are targeting the darker spirits market as a mixer. Let’s see if that gets similar traction as Fever Tree

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I really doubt that will happen although, to be fair, the branding is way better than their Schweppes effort.

My perception is that when big brands try to diversify into areas/product categories they are not primarily associated with it doesn’t go well, even with a huge marketing budget.

A couple of examples from a brewer, Heineken, where they have attempted to do this:

  1. Foster’s Rocks – Attempting to capitalise on the success of another of their products, Deperados, they created a rum flavoured version of Foster’s – Foster’s Rocks – which failed spectacularly. This is in spite of Foster’s being the number 2 best selling lager in the UK. Desperados, bafflingly, continues to sell extremely well.

  2. Heineken 41. This was an attempt (2017) to piggyback the craft/ultra premium category, using their flagship brand. Heineken 41 was brewed with a “mother yeast” from Patagonia, from which all other lager yeasts supposedly originate from. Again – not a great success.

Unsurprising perhaps that the big brewers have switched tack and are concentrating on their core products, and buying/taking big shares in other brewers when they want to diversify their product range (In Heineken’s case Lagunitas and Beavertown). I really hope they don’t mess up Beavertown. They promised not to change the Lagunitas recipe, and within a year the abv was reduced from 6.2% to 5.5%.

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If you ever want to try it let me know! It’s a real lesson in how brand perception/glassware etc are as, if not more, important than the liquid itself (especially true of lager).

I am by no means an expert, but what I think they have done, brilliantly, is take a product that no one had really thought about before, and invented a category around it. Before Fevertree, tonic was tonic. No one cared, or even thought it mattered, whether they were served Schweppes or Britvic in their drink. It was a necessary part of a Gin/Vodka and tonic, rather than an enhancement to the drink in its own right. And their excellent slogan captures this change perfectly.

They have created the idea of craft tonic, and in the process pretty much sewn up the market. Because actually, tonic, at the end of the day, is just tonic. How on earth do either the big brands, or independent players, come up with anything with a significant enough point of difference to materially eat into Fevertree’s sales? What twist of flavour can be added, or premium ingredient sourced, that will make them a “must stock” item.

Added into the mix is the fact that their branding is excellent. It’s elegant, timeless and, appeals to a broad cross section of drinkers. No crass demographic targeting, unlike many drink related products. Also from the start they have actively engaged with the on trade and promoted the idea of the perfect serve (Copa Glass, Lots of Ice, Wedges of lime) adding to the “premium” perception. It’s a long way from the old days of gin and tonic in a highball (or half pint glass) with a sliver of lemon of questionable freshness. And best of all it doesn’t really add very much to the cost of the drink, for consumer or operator.

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I agree with this. But think the “premium adult soft drink” category is really difficult.
One of the big problems, imo, is sugar.To appeal to a large number of premium consumers a successful adult soft drink is going to need to cater to the health and/or calorie conscious. Brands such as Fevertree (rightly, from a brand perspective) don’t want to use sweeteners - their light tonic is only 50% fewer calories than the full fat version and uses fructose rather than refined sugar). Coming up with a winning, and big selling, stand alone product that can be more than an occasional treat will be difficult.

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I honestly think that Fever Tree did a great gob in the UK. However for the first time since launch, they are now in slight decline in market share.

I believe CCEP will try to come back in that category and definitely Coke Signature mixers will help.

I think though Fever Tree has big opportunity in the rest of Europe - that’s why I have them in my portfolio

Maybe a flavoured sparkling water would be a good direction for them.