Think pink: Could a rosy tonic water signal opportunity for craft mixer makers?
British-based beverage manufacturer Fever-Tree, which launched a North American office earlier this year, has rolled out a pink tonic water flavored with sweet citrus fruits and exotic spices, according to Market Watch.
Fever-Tree's Aromatic Tonic Waters is naturally colored with angostura bark and will retail at $5.99 for a four pack.
The mixer is entering a market quickly becoming crowded with pink roses, spirits and rose hard ciders as millennial demand for blush-colored alcohols rises.
Alcohol producers are thinking pink as the rose trend continues to gain staggering ground. Since 2001, rose exports to the U.S. from France's Provence region are up an incredible 4,852%, and rose orders spiked 300% between June 2015 and June 2016, reported the Los Angeles-based Winc wine club.
Beverage makers have responded to the trend by developing rival pink drinks such as Código 1530 Rosa Tequila, Sweet Revenge Whiskey and Gordon's Pink Gin, which get their rosy tint from strawberries and raspberries or time spent in former red-wine barrels.
The pink drink trend has not only changed the color of millennials’ drinks, but it has also changed the price. According to Nielsen, the average retail price for premium imported rose hit a record high of $17.09 per bottle last year. While millennial drinkers are maturing and have more disposable income to spend on these made-for-Instagram drinks, the question is if manufacturers will continue to be able to raise prices for beverages simply because they're pink.
Wisely, Fever-Tree produced a mixer that not only is on trend, but offers a little bit of extra flavor with its blush hue. This value add, along with the fact that the product is naturally flavored, could encourage consumers to pay an even larger premium for this and similar products.
While a pink mixer may seem gimmicky, it could hint at a new growth opportunity for beverage makers, and a way to differentiate in the alcohol-adjacent category. Industry observers suggest that the current trend toward pink drinks is not just another flash in the barrel and say that rose is here to stay. A Fact.MR report projects that the rose wine market will record a modest compound annual growth rate, getting to a value of more than $3.2 billion in 2022.
The story for pink liquor may read a little differently. Although liquor sales trended up last year — according to the Distilled Spirits Council, companies sold 4% more liquor in the United States in 2017, hitting a record $26.2 billion — they have also struggled when they previously introduced cute or confectionery varieties. But a pink color doesn't necessarily change the flavor profile, so as consumer familiarity with these products grows, the subcategory could gain steam.