An award-winning gin brand was looking to broaden their range with a number of cocktail-inspired pre-mixed bottled flavoured gins. They had approached us primarily due to our inhouse flavour research capability and had read our monthly reports on drinks trends. Their initial thinking had been driven by the work they had done internally with a number of mixologists across the world and with a growing market demand they had recognised a commercial opportunity.
British drinkers are drinking gin in record amounts. An article in the Guardian reported that annual gin sales rose 16% to smash through the £1bn barrier for the first time in the UK, leading the drink industry to declare 2016 the “year of gin!”. By 2021 flavoured gin accounts for around 75% of the UK’s flavoured spirts market with YOY growth of around 15% since 2016, and few signs that this growth is likely to slow down any time soon!
The flavoured spirits market continues to be bombarded with the launch of more and more new products. Continued innovation has never been as important to ensure a brand can differentiate itself and gain a competitive advantage in what has become an extremely crowded marketplace.
The customer brief was relatively straight forward in that they wanted us to research the potential premium flavours and tastes that would allow them to develop a range of flavoured gins that would be a good fit for their target demographic and provide them with a drinks range that was unique and differentiated.
Gin’s versatility means it can be mixed with almost any flavour, reaching all ages and demographics and tapping into all sorts of seasonal, cultural or cuisine-led trends. Adding flavour as a compound, instead of using individual materials means drinks brands can add flavours very easily, cost effectively and with a guarantee that the flavour is consistent from batch to batch and year to year.
Our initial research highlighted a range of potential flavours that were a fit to the brief that were presented to the customer and an agreed range was then progressed through our new product development (NPD) process.
Initial samples were produced, blind tested in house and with the client before further iterations meant we arrived at a range that was signed off by the client before we progressed in commercial volume manufacture.
The result for the client was a range of flavours supplied as premixed liquid compounds, containing all the ingredients required to manufacture the range of drinks. The bottlers had to simply mix with water and alcohol prior to bottling.
Liquid flavour compounds can help drinks brands to keep their manufacturing process lean. They eliminate the need to stock and manage numerous ingredients with varying MOQs, lead times and expiry dates. They really are an easy solution for medium to large sized distilleries and alcoholic beverage manufacturers looking to scale-up production.
“A really great team and so easy to do business with. They helped us throughout the entire process from ideation to shelf!” – Head Distiller