Put up the beer garden umbrellas, rush the barbeuce food inside before it gets soggy, and cover the bowling green with tarpaulin; it’s summer. Okay, that’s a bit gloomy. But if nothing else, recent wash-out summers have taught us to be prepared.
And in the face of adverse weather, there’s only one thing to do – pretend it’s not happening. Memories of eating ice creams on the beach in the pouring rain during childhood holidays have taught us Brits to ignore bad weather. Moan about it? Certainly. But as a licensee, you’ve not choice but to plan for the best.
This summer zesty flavours rule, be that in beers or spirits, and write off the RTD category at your peril. New products and continued investment in old favourites mean the category is in growth and is currently worth £418.5m in sales to the on-trade according to analysts CGA Strategy. We round up the new products vying for space on your bar this summer.
Light and zesty
Have you heard the one about the light, zesty beers? Big brewers have been busy preparing for the summer with the launches of among others, Carlsberg Citrus (a 2.8 per cent ABV beer, brewed with natural limes), Foster’s Radler (a blend of Foster’s lager and lemon juice at two per cent ABV) and Carling Zest Hint of Ginger (2.8 per cent ABV) are all recent launches, while Carling Zest Hint of Citrus has been made available year-round.
Though there’s not room for all of them on the back-bar, the brewers are confident the new additions will steal back some share from cider. Heineken estimates the “new mid-strength moderation category” could be ultimately be worth £300 million.
Innis & Gunn lager
Lager is often thought of as the beer of summer. Innis & Gunn – hitherto maker of cask-aged ales – has launched a helles-style lager to celebrate its tenth anniversary. The un-oaked 4.6 per cent ABV beer is available to pubs on draught.
Dogfish Head DNA New World IPA
Like hoppy, refreshing beers with a bit of kick? No vague assimilation of adjectives will do justice to this, the fruits of a special Charles Wells/Dogfish Head Brewery collaboration. A reduction of Dogfish’s 60 Minute IPA was added during the brewing process at Charles Wells. Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head, says: “At Dogfish we use many culinary-inspired ingredients in our brewing process but borrowing the concept of sauce reduction to intensify the complexity of a beer, while established in the world of gourmet chefs, is a new twist in the world of commercial brewing.” Limited stocks are available.
“Spirit Beers represent a huge profit opportunity for licensees as they are driving growth into the beer category, which is currently declining,” says Global Brands marketing director Simon Green. Sales of products such as Desperados prove there’s a sunshine factor to sales here. Global is looking to achieve similar success with its 5.5 per cent ABV Amigos tequila flavoured Beer, with hints of lime. It also recently launched Buddy’s Bourbon Flavoured beer with real honey. SHS Drinks also recently joined the category with 5.5 per cent ABV beers, Cuvana with rum and lime, and bourbon-flavoured Dead Crow.
Crabbie’s new flavours
The alcoholic ginger beer category has always been touted as an alternative to cider. So it should be no surprise that Crabbie’s has now diversified into fruity flavours. New to the fridge are Crabbie’s Raspberry and Crabbie’s Strawberry and Lime, available in both 330ml and 500ml bottles. Al Cross, marketing controller for Crabbie’s says: “They bring Crabbie’s to new summer occasions in addition to creating an opportunity to take share from the fruit cider category.” Serve over ice with a slice of lemon.
WKD cocktail cone
Road workers breathe a sigh of relief. SHS Drinks has released the WKD Cocktail Cone to keep merry traffic cone lovers happy over the May Day Bank Holiday. Fill them with four new recipes created for the spring and summer Bank Holidays; the “WKD Long Weekender” (WKD Red, Disaronno, lemonade, ice); “WKD Cheeky Day Off” (WKD Blue, port, lemonade, ice); “WKD Lie In” (WKD Purple, vodka, lemonade, ice); and ‘WKD Play Day’ (WKD Iron Brew, Drambuie, lemonade, ice). Point-of-sale kits and two-pint cones are available directly from SHS.
The nostalgic RTD range will be backed by premium point-of-sale this summer, including wooden ice buckets, branded glassware and back-bar displays. Distributed by Global Brands, the 4 per cent ABV range includes Alcoholic Ginger Brew, Cloudy Lemonade and Dandelion & Burdock.
Cherry has been a popular spirit flavours of late, but Belvoir is bringing it to soft drinks with a Cherry Pressé (250ml bottles) made with morello cherry juice. Serve chilled on its own or with vodka.
Iced teas and milkshakes
Jugs of iced tea can be pre-made and stored in the fridge, and according to DaVinci Gourmet, maker of fruit syrups for teas, one glass can be made for as little as 40p, meaning high margins. Add syrups to freshly brewed black tea. The syrups can also be used for milk shakes. The brand tips Raspberry, Peach, Chocolate and Strawberry as summer’s most popular flavours. For recipes and profit calculators, go to www.davinci-gourmet.com
Having flagged light white and rosÉ wines in a recent issue, it’s time to look to red. Yes red. Red wines from Spain are booming in the UK at the moment, and there’s perhaps in no small part down to the popularity of tapas. Pernod Ricard is getting behind the category with its Campo Viejo brand. A packaging redesign from July includes a new bottle shape and bolder label with gold embossing, ensuring stand-out on the back-bar. Look out for new Campo Viejo Garnacha 2012 come September. UK sales of Spanish Garnacha are in 16 per cent year-on-year growth.
Tastes of summer
Summer is a good time for spirits, especially white ones. Andrew Leat, on-trade category manager at Diageo GB, says: “There is a higher spend on spirit with mixer drinks in summer, compared with the rest of the year”.
This summer, it’s all about adding familiar flavours to favourite spirit serves. Gordon’s Crisp Cucumber does the work for you. But if you want to get creative, why not try adding Luxardo Limoncello to a gin and tonic, or 15ml to a glass of chilled prosecco?
SHOOT OR DILUTE?
Hot? Cool down with a burst of tingling mint. Luxardo this month releases a Sambuca with Mint and with its vibrant blue colour, you can’t miss it. Most serves will of course be shots, but Luxardo
recommends adding tonic water to a 25ml measure for a long summer refresher.
Antica Sambuca has created a long serve for every flavour, with branded pitchers and glassware. Neck labels on all bottles will give serving suggestions. “They sit somewhere a simple pitcher of draught beer or cider, and more complex cocktail
pitchers,” says Jeremy Hill, chairman of Hi-Spirits. “The overall ‘sweetshop and cakeshop’ flavour trend for cocktails and long drinks will continue, but for the summer we expect the usual seasonal shift, with a little less emphasis on ‘warming’ flavours such as coffee and butterscotch, and a little more on lighter, fresher flavours such as fruit and mint.”
The new flavour is the first permanent edition to the range for two years, and was picked by Facebook fans in an online poll. Mix 50ml with orange juice and lemonade.
Monin Plum and Rosemary
Don’t be scared. You can use syrups, of course you can. I believe in you. Add new Monin Plum or Rosemary syrups to cocktails, mocktails, and if you’re feeling crazy, teas. Monin UK brand ambassador, James Coston says Plum, “works very well with a chilled lager or white beer, or a white wine; and is perfect in gin and vodka cocktails”.
Tropics Beverages Frozen
Tropics Beverages has launched a range of premium frozen fruit purÉes for the on-trade. The fourteen-strong range includes popular cocktails such as Pina Colada, Mojito and Margarita that just need alcohol adding to create classic drinks, or use straight for mocktails.
No, we haven’t forgotten one of the classics of summer. There’s plenty of creativity going on in the cider sector but we went into it in great detail last month. Check out your April issue of Inapub for news on cider trends or read the feature here .
- Soaring with cider this summer
- Jägermeister climbs on-trade spirit rankings
- Black Sheep sponsors new music festival
- Talisker launches port-finished single malt
- McEwan's goes Red with smooth new beer
- Guinness greats rewarded in new scheme
- Energy lifts soft drinks sector
- J2O launches limited edition Pear Gold
- Smirnoff adds Espresso to flavoured range
- Two new flavours in Crabbie's range
- Drinking rates down again
- ...but there's still scope to 'Introduce a Friend' in Cask Ale Week
- Greene King's new range hits the right notes
- Robinson's and star chef brew beer for food favourites
- Somersby cider to launch in pubs
- Spirit flavoured beers launched by WKD team
- Family Brewers see cask increase
- Coke re-launches Designated Driver Campaign
- Jager Gives It a Shot with new campaign
- A drop of good cheer for Christmas
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