Britvic launch to attack Lucozade

Britvic is putting its marketing and distribution muscle behind a new sports drink called Red Card, to take on market leader Lucozade.

The multi-million pound launch comes only two months after Britvic stopped distributing Lucozade following the ending of an agreement it had with Lucozade owner Smith-Kline Beecham.

Britvic had distributed Lucozade and Ribena for nine years before SB took it in-house.

Red Card, which is now being sold to the trade and will be available in cans and half-litre bottles, will initially be backed by a promotional campaign involving extensive sampling.

Britvic marketing director Steve Kay says TV advertising is being considered, but not in the short term.

It is not clear whether Red Card is an energy drink, designed to give a short-term energy boost like the Austrian drink Red Bull, or an isotonic drink which aims to replace fluids lost when exercising.

Lucozade was recently relaunched with new flavours, packaging and formulations for Lucozade Sport, while Lucozade Energy and Lucozade Gold have been repackaged.

The Positive Energy campaign, running on TV, posters and in cinemas, involves the biggest media spend for five years, according to SB.

Meanwhile, Gatorade, the drink which dominates the US and European sports drink markets, has recently been launched in the UK, by Quaker Oats. In the US, Gatorade commands 80 per cent of the sports drink market.

In a separate move, a drink called Aloe Ginseng will be distributed by Nature’s Store, the wholesale healthfood arm of Lloyd’s Chemist Group. It will be available from the Holland & Barrett healthfood chain.

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