1 November, 2019

    Lion Complements Spirits Range with Premium Mixer Partnership

    1 November 2019 – Lion NZ has today announced a new exclusive distribution agreement with Australian premium mixers company, StrangeLove, as the brand looks to grow its presence on Kiwi shores.

    The distribution partnership will be a great accompaniment to Lion’s premium spirits portfolio that includes brands like Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire, providing a superior crafted selection of lower sugar mixers for high-end hospitality venues and retailers.

    Founded in Byron Bay 7 years ago, StrangeLove focuses on luxury mixers, using natural ingredients to create unique flavour positions that bring a customised experience to spirit drinkers. Flavours include Dirty Tonic and Bitter Lemon and Salted Grapefruit, served in distinctive bespoke bottles with premium stippling and embossed woodmark.

    Premium crafted spirits and consequently, premium mixers, are experiencing huge growth as consumers continue to invest in quality over quantity and new and unique flavours. Gin value in NZ is now sitting at $36million and growing +26% MAT with growth in premium mixers at a staggering 207% vs YAGO.

    David Temminghoff, CEO from StrangeLove, says this partnership with Lion is a great chance to bring their brand to the forefront of craft mixers in the Kiwi market, “With New Zealand a key growth market for StrangeLove it’s exciting to have Lion on board to help us build our presence here. With their strong distribution network and expertise in hospitality, we’re confident they’ll support us to grow our momentum and mirror the huge success we’re achieving in Australia. Lion also has an enviable portfolio of spirits that our brand matches perfectly.”

    StrangeLove currently has 1500+ premium on-trade accounts in Australia and is adding around 50 new accounts each month – expecting to finish 2019 at just under 2000. The brand also has a growing overseas presence across the EU and Asia, with many more markets kicking off in 2020.

    “We are continually seeing trade and consumers drawn to the brand due to the unique position it represents in terms of both flavour and mixability. Just being natural and preservative free is no longer enough. We seek to add more dimension to our drinks through use of ingredients like Murray River Pink Salt and high-quality oils like Calamansi and Yuzu across the range.”

    Stefan Gray, GM of Lion’s non-alcoholic division, says, “StrangeLove is a great match for our spirits portfolio and will help ensure we meet the evolving tastes and occasions of consumers.  In line with the huge growth of premium spirits, crafted premium mixers are booming. It makes sense, with consumers wanting to ensure they don’t ruin their high-end spirit by mixing it with a low-end product.

    “The team also has a great selection of adult sodas like Smoked Cola, Yuzu and Double Ginger that will be great additions to our wider non-alcoholic beverage portfolio within the Drinks Collective.  We have big plan to grow the Drinks Collective as part of our commitment to ensuring at least 10% of Lion’s sales come from our non-alcoholic range by 2025,” says Gray.

    The new exclusive distribution agreement is effective from November 1st 2019 and will replace StrangeLove’s current distribution through Federal Merchants.




    Customers interested in stocking StrangeLove can reach out to the Lion Customer Service Centre on 0800 10 72 72 or speak to their Lion Sales Executive.

    * Source: AC Nielsen, October 2019


    For further information contact:

    Sophie Kurta, Lion External Relations Manager

    0274 063 467


    Notes to Editor:

    About StrangeLove  

    StrangeLove was born in Byron Bay NSW where founders James Bruce and Stafford Fox (yes, these are their real names!) developed a passion for organic produce and stumbled upon an old family recipe for a ginger elixir. They set about trying to put that recipe into a bottle utilising only organic ingredients and, subsequently, tried to get people to give them money for it! Before long, word of their delicious elixir had spread and StrangeLove ginger beer was all of a sudden being used by some of the nation’s most respected restaurants and bars. Pretty soon Bruce & Fox were being asked if they could offer other craft mixers and StrangeLove was born. Now served in more venues than could have been imagined in the early days the team is now focused on serving their drinks around the world.

    About Lion NZ

    Lion is New Zealand’s leading alcohol beverage company with brands including Speight’s, Steinlager, Panhead, Wither Hills, Havana Coffee Works and Hopt Soda. The company employs around 1,200 people across its head office and The Pride in Auckland, Speight’s, Harrington’s, The Fermentist, Emerson’s and Panhead breweries, the Wither Hills winery, Havana Coffee Works and its LK retail stores. Lion has both the Gender and Rainbow Tick and has won many awards for closing the gender pay gap and embedding flexible working into the business. It is a founding member of responsible drinking charity Cheers!, runs its own alcohol education platform called Alcohol&Me and provides funding to support Health Promotion Agency’s moderation programmes. Lion is a founding signatory to the Climate Leaders Coalition and part of Sustainable Business Network and Sustainable Business Council.

    For more information on Lion NZ, follow us on Twitter @Lion_NZ or visit