Diageo hopes tropical variant launch will boost flagging Archers brand

Diageo is hoping to revive its struggling Archers brand with a new tropical flavoured variant, Archers Vea, which will be launched this summer. It is believed that the launch will be supported by a significant marketing push.

The drinks giant hopes Vea will reignite the ready-to-drink sector, which has been on the wane since its heyday in the late Nineties. Vea will sit alongside the ready-to-drink Archers Aqua, which has recently reported a 31 per cent year-on-year drop in sales (AC Nielsen), and the original Archers Schnapps. Last September Diageo launched Aqua extension Fruitition, a fruit-flavoured cocktail, in a bid to target older consumers. It was backed by a &£3.5m advertising campaign.

Diageo’s market-leading Smirnoff Ice brand is also struggling. Last year Diageo reported a 12 per cent drop in UK sales figures, despite the brand’s &£6m ad budget. In 2003, Diageo withdrew gin-based alcopop Gordon’s Edge from shelves because of poor sales.

Hooch, the flavoured-alcoholic beverage which kick-started the surge in popularity of alcopops in the Nineties, was pulled from shelves by Coors Brewers in 2003 (MW November 6, 2003).

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