Croft pioneers pink Port and tonic in a can
Following the launch of pre-mixed white Port and tonic in a can from Taylor’s, now there’s a pink version from Croft – the brand that pioneered rosé Port.
Called Croft Pink & Tonic, the product is being launched this month to tap into a host of trends, from the convenience of ready-mixed drinks in a can – spearheaded by the fast-growing Hard Seltzer category – to the popularity of rosé, driven by the strong appeal of pale salmon pink wines from Provence.
While Taylor’s Port was the first to make pre-mixed Port and tonic in a can on a large scale, and the driving force behind the registration of the term Portonic for such a product, it is Croft that is the pioneer for a pink variant, which is fitting for the house that brought out the first Port rosé over a decade ago in 2008.
Both Taylor’s and Croft are owned by the same group, called The Fladgate Partnership, where the CEO is Adrian Bridge.
In an exclusive interview with the drinks business earlier this month, Bridge said that the demand for his inaugural Portonic had been so strong since its launch in May this year, it was logical to augment the category with a rosé variant.
“We are running two shifts at the moment to meet the demand,” he said of Taylor’s Chip Dry and Tonic, adding, “We expect to sell one million cans this year,” before commenting, “The next step for us is the launch of Croft Pink in a can.”
Explaining the success of Portonic, which has seen initial trade orders double in markets such as the US, and the motivation to bring more products to the new category, he told db that the pre-mixed Port answered a latent demand for innovation in the drinks sector.
“The reason buyers want it is straightforward: the market wants innovation. So they’ve got on board, and then people have tasted it and liked it,” he said.
The pink variant is slightly sweeter than the Taylor’s canned product due to the fact that the Croft Portonic contains Croft Pink, which has more residual sugar than the white Taylor’s Chip Dry Port – the basis of the 5.5% abv Taylor’s Chip Dry and Tonic.
The Croft Pink & Tonic is said to combine “an explosion of fruit aromas with the attractive dry finish of tonic water” and comes in a 250ml can.
As previously reported by db, it’s hoped that pre-mixed Port will bring in new consumers to the fortified wine category, with Bridge commenting, “We believe it [Portonic] will create more consumption moments, more awareness, and drive bottle sales, so it’s positive for the long-term trajectory of Port.”
Since Bridge launched Taylor’s Chip Dry and Tonic, Sogrape has unveiled Offley Porto Clink White with tonic, while it’s rumoured that Cockburn’s may be bringing out a Portonic too.