The company filed trademarks on 2 February for two new variants, which appear to be flavoured vodkas under the Smirnoff brand name.
The company’s recent efforts in regards to innovation and driving cocktail culture in the UK suggest that the new flavours could be in Smirnoff’s near future.
Last month it launched seven new innovations, including Smirnoff Ice Double Black, in an effort to expand into new categories and target new demographics.
Speaking at the launch event, Andrew Cowan, managing director of Diageo UK, said the company is “stepping up” its innovation pipeline and “taking brands to the next stage” by refreshing some of its current trademarks and introducing new brand categories in an effort to “make brands available to all people on all occasions”.
The push is part of the company’s goal of having 20% of its business come from innovation, a target it claims it has already reached within its premium Reserve brands. Currently, innovation accounts for 13% of its overall business.
It is also part of a move to make spirits and cocktails become the “next revolution” in the UK.
Cowan told Marketing Week: “If you look at the cooking and baking revolution in the UK driven by Jamie Oliver and The Great British Bake Off, we see spirits and cocktails becoming the next big consumer shift.
“The US has gone after cocktail culture while the UK has traditionally been more about wine and beer. But we’re innovating and promoting more. There’s no reason we can’t be a leader.”
However, speaking today (April 9) on the possibility of two new Smirnoff flavour variants, a Diageo spokesperson told Marketing Week that the company regularly registers trademarks for product ideas.
“As soon as an idea is conceived the company registers the domain,” Diageo said. “That doesn’t mean it’s going to come out – the process starts years and years in advance.”
Diageo accounts for 32% of spirits sold in the UK and leads the premium category. It saw its net sales increase by 2% in Great Britain in the six months to 31 December, success that was largely driven by its portfolio of reserve brands.