A spirits company set up by a former IDV manager made redundant in the merger with United Distillers & Vinters is to launch its first UK brand.
Babco, which markets drinks in Ireland, Canada, Spain and Greece, is launching alcoholic energy drink Agwa, which is targeted at 18- to 24-year-olds in UK nightclubs.
Babco is headed by Mark Wilson, who spent eight years at IDV in a variety of senior roles, including head of the European brandy division.
Agwa is a 30 per cent-spirit drink distilled from the energy-boosting root Guarana and the non-narcotic part of the Coca leaf. It has been served in chilled test tubes in some clubs in Northern Ireland.
Distribution is being established in the Newcastle, Brighton, London and Manchester areas through FD Brands.
There are plans to launch the drink in Sweden and the Netherlands.
Babco has also developed Soixante-Neuf – a cognac flavoured with vanilla which is designed to appeal to women – and a liqueur called Cremsoir made from French cognac and Belgian white chocolate.
While at IDV, Wilson also worked with BBH Unlimited’s sister company BHH on J&B Scotch Whisky.
Wilson received a pay-off at the time of the merger and set up Babco, which is based outside Dublin. He says: “Spirits is a terribly staid sector compared with what is going on in beers, wines and ciders. We want to bring some innovation to the market.”
BBH Unlimited created a series of two-second and four-second TV advertisements for Agwa, which ran in Northern Ireland in December and targeted clubbers.