Spirits makers brand ready-mixed drinks

UK spirits manufacturers are launching a new sector for ready-mixed drinks with their own brand names.

Westbay Distributors is launching a flavoured schnapps product called Metz under the Martini banner.

It is understood the brand extension will be launched nationally on TV with a 2m spend through the HHCL Brasserie, an offshoot of Martini agency HHCL & Partners.

At the same time, Pernod Ricard’s UK division Campbell Distillers is seeking to revitalise its ailing Pernod brand with the launch of Hex, a pre-mixed Pernod and blackcurrent drink.

And whisky manufacturer William Grant is launching a tequila-based Marguerita called Cancun.

The new sector is seen as the next stage on from the alcoholic carbonates market, where brands such as Hooper’s Hooch and Two Dogs alcoholic lemon have achieved national success since last summer’s launch.

The development of new categories is crucial to drinks manufacturers, who have seen a steady decline in their core markets.

The sector is targeting an adult market. One observer says: “The pre-mixer market has grown up, and manufacturers will put a lot of money into this big new area.”

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