Beefeater joins the pink gin partyBy Lucy Shaw
Illustrating the growing popularity of the pink gin category, Beefeater has joined the pink gin party with an expression infused with strawberries.
Targeted at “young millennials”, Beefeater Pink takes Beefeater London Dry gin as a base, with is classic flavours of citrus and juniper, and riffs on it with the addition of strawberries.
The pale pink expression took master distiller Desmond Payne MBE months to perfect, and, rather than be first to market with a pink gin, brand owner Pernod Ricard was keen for Payne to create “the best expression on the market”.
“We’re not the first out with a pink gin, but we were determined to get it right. Things move on and are cyclical and we need to be looking at new ideas,” Payne told db.
“The strawberry works well with the other flavours in the gin. It was really important to me to get the right balance of the flavours and for it to not be too sweet.
“Soft fruits don’t distill very well so we add the natural strawberry flavour after distillation.”
While creating the recipe for Beefeater Pink, Payne took inspiration from the distillery’s pharmacist founder James Borrough’s, whose inventions included raspberry gin and cherry brandy.
Beefeater Pink is the first innovation to be launched by The Gin Hub, a new, stand-alone entity that brings together three of Pernod Ricard’s gin brands: Beefeater, Plymouth, Seagram’s and Monkey 47, under one roof.
“Beefeater Pink captures what gin has become – a modern, vibrant, colourful and innovative category, where consumers are not afraid to challenge the classics and conventions.
“Distilled in London, Beefeater Pink represents the spirit of the city where convention and modernity coexist,” said Eric Sampers, brand director for Beefeater.
“The gin industry is booming and there is a real appetite for new and innovative expressions that offer consumers a different drinking experience.
“In Spain, the pink gin trend accounts for 40% of all value growth within the total gin category, so there is huge potential to tap into,” said Sophie Gallois, managing director of The Gin Hub.
“Our main target is young millennials aged 20-27. We want to recruit them into the gin category and Beefeater Pink is an approachable expression. We wanted the marketing around it to be playful, fresh and gender neutral. We’re not specifically targeting it at women.
“I think pink gin will be the big trend of the summer. There is a passion for pink at the moment and we’re confident Beefeater Pink is going to be a success. We’re not just another pink gin – we’ve got a spectacular product.
“There was a risk that if we launched a pink gin we might be taken less seriously, that’s why we took our time to get it right. Trends can be bubbles that burst but this is more than a bubble as it both looks great and tastes great – Beefeater Pink at Wimbledon, what could be better?” she added.
As to whether other colours might be considered, Gallois said Pernod is sticking to pink for now. “We won’t be launching a whole rainbow of coloured gins. If you over stretch the idea there’s a danger that you might lose your integrity,” she said.
“I think the popularity of ‘millennial pink’ has driven the pink gin trend to an extent. It has had an influence in fashion, drinks and design. Millennials drink with their eyes,” she added.
Priced at £20 a bottle, the 37.5% ABV Beefeater Pink will be rolled out in 12 countries in March before the rest of the world.
Payne recommends enjoying Beefeater Pink with tonic water, lemonade or on the rocks with chopped fresh strawberries as a garnish.