Diageo rolls out Smirnoff flavours nationally

02 March, 2009

Diageo is hoping to crack the flavoured vodka market by making Lime Smirnoff and Green Apple Smirnoff available to all off-trade retailers nationally this summer.

The launch follows a six-month trial in selected retailers and bars in Bristol. The tests were promoted by a range of marketing activity in the city, including print ads, online activity, and POS material.

“In Bristol we had some phenomenal results, with double-digit growth in the vodka category and a significant increase in flavoured vodka’s share of the spirits category,” said Steve Hamilton, innovation commercialisation director at Diageo GB.

Both flavours have 37.5% abv and will be available in 70cl bottles (rrp £13.75). A marketing campaign will encourage consumers to mix the lime variant with cola, and the green apple flavour with lemonade.

Diageo is also adding Morgan’s Spiced & cola, Smirnoff vodka & Schweppes tonic and Bulleit Bourbon & cola to its Premix 25cl can range.

Each can contains a double measure of spirit and has 7.5% abv (rrp £1.64).

The Premix category is one of the fastest-growing drinks categories with 13% growth, according to Hamilton. He added that the cans will be advertised as “convenient, classic drinks” to serve straight from the fridge in the evenings.

Diageo is also extending the availability of its Baileys Flavours range following successful pre-Christmas trials.

Baileys with a Hint of Coffee, which was the leading Baileys SKU in Asda in the run-up to Christmas, will be available to all grocery retailers from this month, and all three variants, including Baileys with a hint of Mint Chocolate and Baileys with a Hint of Crème Caramel, will also be available in 1-litre bottles in selected grocery retailers.

“Innovation is central to our work at Diageo and our current NPD strategy of in-market testing and nurturing is delivering some exciting results,” Hamilton added.

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