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Hooch faces rival launch from Booker

Booker Wholesale is to launch the first own-label alcoholic lemonade just three months after Bass launched its Hooper’s Hooch brand.

Booker, which has 100,000 registered retailers through its 159 cash-and-carry outlets and delivery trade, will launch Mad MacCaulays in October.

It will be “competitively” priced to take on Hooper’s Hooch and rival Merrydown brand Two Dogs.

Observers say the launch of Mad MacCaulays will test whether the sector is built on brand strength, or if it is a commodity market.

Alcoholic lemonade is one of the biggest growth sectors in the alcoholic drinks market, and the two brand leaders are facing supply difficulties. This has allowed a host of smaller brands to enter the fray.

The speed with which the product has gone into own-label has surprised many observers. Products usually need to be well established before retailers and wholesalers risk developing their own versions.

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