Port, everybody knows it, but how is the image of this quality adult beverage of 18% to 20% from around the Porto area in Portugal?
I spoke to Adrian Bridge, CEO of The Fladgate Partnership, the company behind Taylor’s port, Croft Port and many more high quality brands. It is also in the tourism and distribution, about this development and the future of RTD drinks for the whole sector.
Could you tell a bit more about The Fladgate Partnership.
The original company of the group is Taylor’s Port, which was founded in 1692. However, in 2001 it acquired Croft Port, which was founded in 1588 and celebrated its 430th anniversary in 2018. With its other port wine houses (Fonseca Port and Krohn Port) The Fladgate Partnership is a leading player in producing special category Port, which it sells in over 105 countries.
What is your background in the beverage industry of port?
I moved to Portugal in 1994 to grow the Taylor’s and Fonseca Port brands in the UK and USA. In 1998, became CEO of the Taylor Fonseca Group, spearheading its expansion by acquiring valuable industry assets, including Croft and Delaforce Port, and forming an enlarged group called The Fladgate Partnership.
I’ve been at the forefront of innovation and change in the Port industry. In 2008 was responsible for the creation of rosé Port, the first new category for a generation, and launched the super-premium Port segment with the high-profile release of Taylor’s Scion in 2010. In 2014 expanded the luxury gifting market with a series of 50-year-old Single Harvest Ports.
In 2010 created The Yeatman, Porto’s first world class luxury hotel, later adding two more iconic properties to the group’s portfolio, The Vintage House and Hotel Infante Sagres. In 2020 opened the World of Wine, a major cultural, gastronomic and retail complex. I am the mentor of the Porto Protocol, a global climate change initiative.
What was the main reason to start this new products in a can?
Innovate and pioneer in the port wine sector. Broaden our customer base by satisfying consumers’ needs, while never compromising the outstanding quality of our Port Wines.
Who is your main target group with these cans?
Everyone looking for a refreshing, delicious and informal drink. The PORTONIC in a can will surprise and delight also those who are not familiar Port.
What is your future goal for these products?
Now we want to consolidate the distribution of Taylor’s Chip Dry & Tonic and Croft Pink & Tonic in the different markets where we are present, and with it demonstrate the versatility and range of Port Wine.
Do you have plans to expand, have more products in cans of other alternative packages?
For the moment we are totally focused in promoting the cans we are just launching.
How would you describe your ready to drink beverage in a can?
The first pre-mixed and ready-to-drink Port & Tonic is presented in a convenient, practical, and elegant 250ml can, 100% recyclable, easy to carry and store. It is perfect to enjoy in a moment of relaxation, at home or outdoors, in the countryside or on the beach, with friends and family. Its volume was designed to be easy to transport and to chill.
Taylor’s Chip Dry & Tonic and Croft Pink & Tonic are wonderfully fresh and vibrant, with delicious flavors in a dry and very attractive finish. It is delicious and very practical to enjoy anytime and anywhere.
How do you see the future of ready to drink in a can in comparison to traditional products?
The Portonic ready to drink is easy to carry, versatile and ready to be enjoyed anytime, anywhere. It does not replace the traditional products but allows new moments of consumption reaching new consumers.
This project was challenging as we wanted to guarantee the best balanced and the most pleasing and refreshing drink. We have done our own special dry tonic water to get the perfect ratio of a perfect Port and Tonic.
The result is a delicious drink, bursting with character, that will surprise and delight everyone.
Some tasting notes;
Croft Pink & Tonic
An amazing taste sensation of red fruits. Think of raspberries, strawberries, a subtitle hint of mint and an aftertaste of lemons. All combined with the soft bitterness of the tonic.
Taylor’s Chip Dry & Tonic
Refreshing and round on the palette, little hint of mint and soft lemon peel. All very good in balance with all the components of this Dry port/ Tonic!
Thank you very much Adrian for your time, the pleasure was all mine!