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Softs & Spirits - The Appeal of Lemonade as a Mixer

Lemonade in brief

  • £500,000 – the value of lemonade in the on-trade[2]
  • Gin and lemonade is the top spirit and mixer combination consumed by spirit and mixer consumers out of home [3]
  • 79,000 litres of lemonade sold in the on-trade in the last two years[4]
  • Mixed with spirits offers growth potential[5]

Lemonade’s place on the bar is in good health as consumers are seeking interesting and flavourful alcoholic and non-alcoholic serves that excite them in outlets[1], but there are opportunities for growth when considering it as a mixer, as well as a stand-alone drink.

As with many other soft drinks segments, such as colas, tonics and even soda water, operators can maximise revenues from lemonade by approaching the segment with flare. For non-alcoholic serves, leading lemonade brands such as R.White’s Premium Lemonade on draught can be used as a base for house sodas to add more flavour and impact.

31% of consumers drink cocktails in the on premise [6] ​ therefore house sodas, made with premium syrups such as Teisseire, that are served in ice-filled glasses with interesting and eye-catching garnishes, can play into increasing consumer demand for cocktails. Cocktail drinkers also tend to be more susceptible to suggestion, particularly from bartenders and staff – with 62.5% of cocktail drinkers agreeing that even if they’d already decided what they were planning to drink, they could be swayed by bartender recommendations [7].

Such serves, with a ‘wow factor’ garnish, would likely gain social media attention from consumers, with 38% of drinkers taking pictures drinks ‘every time’ or ‘almost every time’ they order[8].

Signpost your serves

Having a serve POS kit on your bar for staff to recommend, you can tap into the 67% of cocktail drinkers who like when bartenders make recommendations. [9]

Not only is lemonade an ideal base for high-end mixed alcohol-free serves, but it is also the perfect mixer for most spirits, including vodka, whiskey, gin and tequila. Often overlooked, lemonade has a key role to play on the bar, providing outlets with good revenue gains, especially if served in the right way.

Gin is chosen by nearly 1 in 2 consumer (49%) in the On Trade as the top spirit chosen by GB spirit drinkers out-of-home [10],​ indicating that gin and lemonade serves can learn from gin and tonic’s glow-up, which transitioned from being a drink served in a glass with one ice cube and a sliver of lemon to garnish, into big copa glasses with lots of ice and fresh fruit. Lemonade can follow the same principle.

37%​ of spirit and mixer consumers think that it is important that they recognise the mixer brand used in a serve [11] so consider partnering R.White’s Lemonade on draught with a premium pink gin and complementing fruit garnishes, served in a long glass with lots of ice.

Such drinks can help pub and bar operators create and develop their own commercial experiences for customers by twisting serves and tapping into seasons and events such as sporting occasions and holidays.

Lemonade can also be utilised as a key part in any sophisticated or classic serves, such as Long Island Iced Lemonade, Pink Vodka and Lemonade and the London Lemonade.

Given the opportunities lemonade provides in terms of revenue gains, licensees can reap the rewards by increasing their creativity when it comes to mixing draught lemonade in alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.

[1] CGA Mixed Drinks Report Q3 2021 – Sample size: 997 cocktail consumers

[2] CGA MAT data to 31.3.22 v 2 YR

[3] CGA BrandTrack August 2022. Sample size: 437

[4] CGA MAT data to 31.3.22 v 2 YR

[5] Kantar WPO MAT data to June 2022

[6] CGA BrandTrack August 2022 Sample size: 1824

[7] CGA Cocktails in Europe 2022

[8] CGA Q3 2021 – Sample size 1,000: since reopening 384

[9] CGA cocktails in Europe 2022

[10] CGA BrandTrack August 2022. Sample size: 1824

[11] CGA BrandTrack August 2022. Sample size: 837

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