Constellation targets Pimm’s with Stone’s Wine extension

Constellation Brands is planning to launch a brand extension for its venerable Stone’s Ginger Wine in an attempt to take on Pimm’s in the summer long mixed drinks sector.

Stone’s Summer Cup is in development, although a Constellation spokeswoman was unable to provide any further details.

The move is understood to be retaliation for Diageo’s relaunch last September of Pimm’s No. 3 Cup, a brandy-based version of Pimm’s, as Pimm’s Winter, designed to be drunk warm in cold weather. Stone’s Ginger Wine is usually drunk warm in the winter either on its own or mixed with whisky as a Whisky Mac.

The original Pimm’s No. 1, which uses gin as the base, was launched in the 1840s, but later the range was extended to include No. 2 Cup which used Scotch, No. 3 with brandy, No. 4 with rum, No. 5 with rye and No. 6 with vodka. Until last year, only No.1 Cup and No. 6 Cup were available.

This is the second time Constellation has tried to extend the Stone’s brand into different seasons. In September 2004, it launched a relationship marketing drive complete with recipe book trying to encourage consumers to drink it in all seasons.

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