Fever-Tree holds two-way creative pitch amid share price slump

Fever-Tree: sales lost fizz over Christmas
Fever-Tree: sales lost fizz over Christmas

Lucky Generals is going head to head with MullenLowe London.

Fever-Tree is set to appoint a new advertising agency, after disappointing Christmas sales announced this week caused the upmarket mixer company’s share price to fall by 20%.

The brand has narrowed its search to two shops: Lucky Generals and MullenLowe London. Chemistry meetings were held before Christmas and final pitches will take place at the end of January. 

Fever-Tree confirmed that the pitch was taking place but declined to comment further.

Although Fever-Tree’s global sales grew 10% in 2019 to £260.5m, this was lower than anticipated, and in the UK sales fell 1% to £132.6m, leading to the slump in share price. 

The company put the sales drop down to "consumer belt-tightening". It is also facing increased competition from other brands in the premium mixer space. 

Although Fever-Tree overtook Coca-Cola’s Schweppes in sales in 2017, the traditional market leader in mixers has responded by revamping its packaging and launching a premium range of its own. In the 12 months to October 2019, Schweppes grew faster than Fever-Tree, according to Nielsen data. 

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has launched a range of mixers under its eponymous brand, while other brands including Fentimans and Britvic’s The London Essence Company have increased their range and availability, helping to quickly grow sales (although these remain small, with Fever-Tree and Schweppes dominating the market).

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