WKD has launched two lower-calorie RTDs under the sub-brand name NKD.

The two new lines – in flavours of Lemon & Lime and Blueberry & Elderflower – have been developed as a brand extension to complement the four flavours in the WKD range, which has undergone a ‘radical transformation’ this Autumn. The activity forms part of SHS Drinks’ aim of adding £38m to the take-home RTD category over the next three years by attracting one million new consumers.

NKD has the same 4% abv as WKD but at less than 100 kCal per 27.5cl bottle it has half the calorie content and a lighter taste profile. The more natural appearance of the NKD liquid is also expected to contrast with WKD’s vibrantly coloured flavours.

The NKD bottles will be priced to match WKD and the bottle tops will highlight the ‘less than 100 calories’ statement.

Initially NKD will only be sold through multiple grocers in the take home market as well as selected entertainment venues which are popular with the key target audience of 18-24 year-old consumers.

NKD is also expected to benefit from the halo effect of the ‘WKD for Now’ social and digital media communications programme.

Jo Sykes, marketing director, alcohol & soft drinks at SHS drinks, said: “The launch of NKD will play an integral role in our ambition to reinvent RTDs as a destination category for 18 to 24-year-old consumers with whom we have collaborated to co-create NKD.

“Our aim is to recruit new consumers and shape their perceptions by positioning WKD as a catalyst for having fun with friends, providing an energy lift and offering a great tasting product with the right amount of alcohol. We’ll do this through engaging with and exciting consumers, and being seen in the right places at the right time – from festivals and gigs to bowling alleys and cafés – and we also believe targeting the ‘having a drink before having a night out’ occasion provides a prime growth opportunity for the brand and for retailers.”  

Sykes added: “NKD will reinforce WKD’s brand-leading position through attracting new consumers and broadening usage occasions. NKD’s added air of sophistication will have strong appeal to today’s image conscious 18 to 24-year-old consumers, who always looking to stay sharp, by offering two lower calorie on-trend flavour options – 44% of consumers in this age group say they aim to ‘be healthier’ when socialising. The lighter flavour of NKD also makes it a great accompaniment to food which takes WKD into an entirely new and untapped consumption occasion for the brand.”