Brits are returning to the taste of their childhood as ginger beer is back and taking centre stage in the drinks market.
Health-conscious consumers have a thirst for natural ingredients and nostalgic flavours, so this additive-free age-old recipe is just the tonic. And as the popularity of yesteryear drinks soars, it proves that classic tastes and flavours are the best. So, whatever the form – soft drink, tea or alcoholic version – ginger is here to stay!
There has been an explosion of bottled alcoholic ginger drinks. Market leader Halewood International which manufactures Crabbie’s, estimates that its share of the market alone is worth £105 million in annual sales. Recent innovations have seen additional flavours combined with ginger to make raspberry and strawberry and lime ginger beer. Further extensions have seen lager combined with ginger: Carling’s lager with a hint of ginger was launched this summer together with Ginger Joe’s, a ginger wine. As we approach autumn and winter, alcoholic mulled ginger wine is a unique alternative that’s perfect for the colder months.
Ginger beer is also appearing more in cafes, garden centres, restaurants and pubs as customers demand more variety in soft drinks. Market leading Fentimans Traditional Ginger Beer, which is botanically brewed, is now widely available. As brand manager John Carslake says, “Ginger has a wide variety of flavour twists and the increasing consumer demand for low-calorie drinks options will no doubt encourage numerous products aimed at satisfying this desire.”
The trend for ginger drinks is now spreading to beer and food matching. Sharp’s brewery’s Chalky’s Bite, named after Rick Stein’s dog and created in collaboration with the chef, is specifically matched to Asian and seafood dishes. Chef Mark Hix, owner of Hix restaurant in London’s Soho, recommends Luscombe Hot Ginger Beer to accompany his smoked salmon dish.