In conversation with: Sweetbird
We’ve recently welcomed Sweetbird into the Ringtons family bringing you a range of syrups that are sure to take your drinks game to the next level. Sweetbird, like us, has their roots firmly placed in the UK and their products are simply delicious!
There are countless reasons why you should stock them- the Sweetbird product range ticks all the boxes containing clean ingredients and providing sugar-free options and the team are full of energy, knowledge and ideas – all of which we’re excited to share with you…
Q: You’ve got 50 words to describe Sweetbird, go.
A: Sweetbird is all about getting creative with ingredients and flavours so you can make drinks that look and taste delicious every time. We spot new trends and continually experiment with ingredients and recipes – all while keeping everything vegan and free from any unnecessary ingredients. The Sweetbird product range not only tastes exceptional but delivers the innovation, versatility and simplicity customers are looking for too.
Q: What do you think makes Sweetbird special?
A: The fact that we make the syrups ourselves, right here in Bristol. This gives us complete control over every aspect of the range – from being able to produce ‘nut-free’ nut syrups, through to what syrups to create next – as with the Toffee Nut and Speculoos for Autumn/Winter 2019. Also our clean ingredients; we’ve been vegan approved since way back in 2003. It’s funny to remember how people wondered what on earth we were on about – how times have changed!
Q: What are you loving in the world of flavour and beverages at the moment?
A: We love seeing trends rise and fall, we’re really looking forward to enjoying lots of Spiced Apple Steamers this winter – just two pumps of Sweetbird Chai syrup into apple juice then steamed together. It tastes great, is an interesting hot alternative to tea, coffee and chocolate for winter, and is really, really profitable!
Away from syrups, cold foam is a really, fun interesting thing to offer; it’s like steamed milk froth, but cold; making it is like theatre for customers. It has so many uses, is low fat and is great for profits too.
Q: What are your predicted trends for 2019/2020?
A: Sugar-free for sure. We have customers who are switching not only to Sweetbird because we’re made in Bristol, but because they like our sugar-free syrups. We have developed them using stevia and sucralose to ensure the sweetness lasts and doesn’t have the bitterness that other sweeteners can have, they taste as close to the original as can be. Some customers are now just offering sugar-free as the norm without customers noticing and we anticipate Iced Tea and Lemonade syrups will increase in popularity.
Q: What do baristas/businesses often get wrong when using syrups?
A: By just listing them as an afterthought at the bottom of a menu – ‘Add syrup for 50p’ – customers are often in a rush so don’t have the time to think of a good combination. Customers won’t be inspired by that offer, and are not sure what tastes great. Offer them a finished drink – a Black Forest Hot Chocolate or Millionaires Latte using caramel and speculoos syrup – or even a Sugar-free Gingerbread Latte. Offer a fully-fledged complete drink that sounds delicious – even better if you’ve got some point of sale to shout about it too.
Have a plan for what seasonal drinks you are going to offer to make sure your team know how to make and promote them, and that you have all the stock you need in time too. Think about what else that syrup could be used in to make sure you get the most out of it and are not left with any at the end of the promo – better to sell out of a limited-edition seasonal drinks than still be flogging the same flavour for weeks!
Q: What are your top tips for baristas/businesses when using syrups?
A: Have them on display! We invested heavily in research to create the new Sweetbird brand, our goal being a bottle and label design customers would like to have on display, and we’re really proud to say all the feedback we’ve received agrees we’ve achieved our goal!
If customers see them, they will be able to read the flavour and be reminded you have them. If they are just some bottles hidden away at the back neither you customers, or even staff are going to give them a second thought. We have really handy three bottle racks which sit nicely next to a till, or can be used together for six, nine, twelve syrups – depending on the space you have and your range.
Q: Why are you excited about working with Ringtons?
It’s always great when we get to partner with an established UK company with a background similar to ours, although it must be said that Ringtons have been established for much longer than our 22 years! With the impressive tea and coffee experience that Ringtons have, we’re excited to feed into that with our knowledge and enthusiastic approach to creative drinks.
Q: Here at Ringtons we’re well known for our tea, as well as our coffee. The hotly contested question is, tea or coffee?
A: Tricky! But hand on heart I’m a coffee drinker, but I’ll admit to being partial to a Ringtons rooibos tea in the afternoon!