Bulmers, the cider company which is reinventing itself as a mainstream drinks company, is planning to launch a “Brazilian-themed” spirit-based drink, called Bambao, later this year.
Bulmers is already understood to be developing Storm, a spirits drink with a widget, also for launch this year (MW March 14).
A spokesman for the company declines to comment on either product. He says: “We are continually researching new products, but we don’t comment on anything we’re doing.” However, it is understood that Bambao will be a white rum-based competitor to Smirnoff Ice and Bacardi Breezer, and that marketing will exploit a “laid back” Brazilian-Caribbean theme. One logo being considered for the product features the imprint of a naked foot on a beach.
Bulmers issued a profits warning at the end of February, blamed in part on poor sales of its Strongbow Spice alcopop, which was launched last year (MW August 16, 2001). It also said that the launch of a “revolutionary new product” had been delayed due to technical difficulties – it is understood that this product is Storm, which will contain a device that squirts a range of coloured flavourings into the bottle when its screw-top is opened.
Strongbow Spice, which is flavoured with apples, ginger, cinnamon and juniper, was intended to be Bulmers’ major brand in the premium packaged spirits market, but despite a &£1m press and TV campaign by TBWA/London, Bulmers was forced to admit that sales had “failed to meet expectations”.