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Fever-Tree turns focus on US with North American office

Published:  06 December, 2017

Fever-Tree has announced its intention to open an office in North America as part of a strategy to focus on the US.

The premium carbonated mixers brand said the new office would be open for business in the second quarter of 2018 and would be headed up by Charles Gibb as CEO, who joined Fever-Tree as its global strategy director in August this year.

The move, which has seen Fever-Tree give notice to its US agent Brands of Britain (BoB), signaled the company's “commitment and focus” on the North American market going forward, said group CEO, Tim Warrillow.

“The North American premium mixer market is still at a relatively early stage but the trend towards spirits premiumisation and the increasing focus on simple long drink mixability is accelerating and represents a significant opportunity for Fever-Tree,” he said.

The group would continue to work closely with BoB over the next six months, with formal handover to be completed during the second quarter of 2018, he added, after which time Fever-Tree would directly manage the current distribution network, he said.

On the appointment of Gibb, Warrillow said: “Charles brings substantial international experience, a broad range of strategic and commercial skills as well as a proven track record of growing brands to significant scale and I look forward to working closely with him as we build the team and infrastructure in North America.”

Since first entering North America 10 years ago, Fever-Tree claims to have become the number one premium mixer brand in the US.

Last month, the company said in a trading statement it anticipated its full year results for the year ending 31 December, 2017 woukld be “materially ahead” of current market expectations.

The positive forecast came on the back of an “exceptional” performance in the UK, its biggest market, with the strong growth seen in the first six months of the year having continued during the second half.

Rival Schweppes continues to be the top brand, with off-trade sales totalling £68.2 million, but Fever-Tree is snapping at its heels.

So much so, that if the pioneering mixers brand, which saw sales soar by £27.6m – a 14% jump – to £46.4m in the past year, can continue to grow at even half this level, it will be competing for the number one brand position in the off-trade next year (IRI 52 w/e to 22 July, 2017).

UK-based Fever-Tree, which was founded in 2005, distributes its mixers to more than 50 countries worldwide, with approximately 56% of total sales derived from outside of the UK in financial year 2016.