Fever-Tree extends low calorie range as revenue rises by 66%

Up-market mixer brand Fever-Tree has extended its low calorie range with eight new expressions as it reports that revenue in 2017 rose by 66% to £170 million, with sales of its light tonic more than doubling in the UK.

Earlier this year, the mixer brand had forecasted that it would become the number one mixer brand by value in the UK off-trade, ahead of rival Schweppes. 

It announced today that it had met these predictions with pre-tax profits rising by 64% in 2017 to £56m and revenue increasing by 66% to £170m, driven by a 96% growth in sales in the UK.

The company now proposes a final dividend of 7.6p per share. The only area to take a hit was the gross profit margin which was around 2% lower than last year at 53.5%, which the company attributes to the introduction of a “bespoke” bottle.

Fever-Tree also revealed that sales of its light tonic water more than doubled in the UK, meaning that it now accounts for 30% of the brand’s off-trade sales.

To celebrate the achievement, Fever-Tree has launched a new range called ‘Refreshingly Light’ which will sit alongside its regular tonics and mixers.

Founded in 2005, the brand launched a low calorie tonic water in 2007, free from artificial sweeteners, under the tag-line ‘Naturally Light’.

The extension of the range represents what the brand calls “the growing consumer appetite for great tasting, low calorie mixers”.

Each new mixer will contain less than 5 grams of sugar per 100ml.

Rose Black, innovation director commented: “At Fever-Tree we are proud of our position as pioneers of the premium mixer and how we have transformed the wider mixer category. The Refreshingly Light range reflects the same commitment to the highest quality ingredients, botanicals and taste that is at the heart of all of our products and we are delighted to be able to offer bars and restaurants a choice of options free from artificial ingredients and sweeteners across our whole portfolio.”

The Refreshingly Light mixers will be available to wholesalers and the on-trade from March 2018 in 24x200ml formats and includes lower calorie versions of Mediterranean tonic, elderflower tonic, aromatic tonic, lemon tonic, Sicilian lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale and Madagascan cola as well as the original low calorie tonic water.

Fever-Tree’s success has been aided by the growth of gin, which had another record year in the UK in 2017. 51 million bottles of gin worth almost £1.4 billion were bought in the UK last year, an increase of 27% in volume (the equivalent of over 9.5 million bottles) compared to 2016.

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