Frozen food distributor Central Foods is adding another string to its bow by offering a range of exquisite frozen, ready-made alcoholic cocktails.

It is the first time that Central Foods has included any drinks on its supply list and comes as the consumer demand for cocktails continues to soar (cocktail drinkers visit the on-trade 25% more than non-cocktail drinkers*).

Produced by London-based, award-winning, small-batch cocktail company Pontoon Cocktails, the four Signature cocktails available – Passionfruit Martini, Cosmopolitan, Mojito and Elderflower Collins (all in the Top Favourite list of mainstream cocktails)* – are supplied frozen and will be available to the foodservice and hospitality sector from licensed (Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme) frozen food wholesalers.

This will allow foodservice operators without trained bar staff to serve consistent fresh cocktails handcrafted by industry professionals whilst also addressing the challenges of staff retention.

“With the average bar staff only staying on board for around four months, providing consistent, quality cocktails can be a real headache for licensees,” said Gordon Lauder, MD for Central Foods.

“Cocktails continue to grow in popularity, so it’s a market that cannot afford to be ignored. CGA statistics show that cocktails are currently being served to 9 million consumers, in more than 41,900 outlets across the on-trade, with sales value up nearly 10% year-on-year by the first quarter of 2019, reaching £587m*.

“These delicious frozen cocktails from Pontoon are made from the finest, fresh ingredients with five days’ life once defrosted, held chilled. They are the ideal solution to help hospitality outlets tap into the booming cocktail trade.”

Service couldn’t be simpler – just pour, finish and garnish to create the perfect cocktail, every time with minimum effort.

Pontoon Cocktails is revolutionising the cocktail-making experience for the on-trade and hospitality industries, by delivering consistent fresh cocktails that can be served quickly with minimum effort. The introduction of the new Signature cocktails ahead of summer – a key time for the cocktail market – represents a real opportunity for on-trade outlets to capitalise on the growing consumer demand for top quality cocktails.

Each cocktail is made with premium alcohol brands and fruit juices freshly squeezed on the premises then expertly blended by hand at Pontoon Cocktails’ state of the art R&D facility in London before being frozen. This gives consistent, clean flavours and alcohol content every time.

Pontoon’s Signature range is available in small 500ml pouches, packed 5 x 500ml.  The small pouch and case sizes allows for quick turnover, minimum wastage and minimum outlay – ideal for operators who may be nervous of giving the range a try in their establishment.  As the latest CGA research shows 83% of those who have tried pre-batched cocktails said they are likely to repurchase, licensees can be truly confident of stocking and serving this bespoke range.

Central Foods, based at Collingtree, near Northampton, is a leading foodservice supplier, supplying more than 400 different lines into foodservice, ranging from vegetarian and free-from items, meat products, bakery items and canapés through to buffet products, desserts and puddings. It currently sells to more than 240 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers, and foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry including schools, universities, pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, leisure centres, garden centres, cafés, care homes and many other outlets.

“We are delighted to be exclusively distributing these innovative cocktails from Pontoon,” added Gordon Lauder. “This is a first for Central Foods, and we hope branching out into the alcoholic drinks trade will provide a useful service to our customers, and in turn, to their customers too. Cocktails offer a substantial profit margin opportunity, especially compared to beer or wine, and when you consider two cocktails are usually drunk for every one pint served, it is a market not to be ignored.”

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*CGA Mixed Drinks Report Q1 2019

Perfect 10 PR is a Nottingham-based PR agency specialising in foodservice and construction public relations.