The UK drinks group Halewood International has strengthened increased its presence in the growing shot market with the launch of Red Square Hot Shot Mini, which the company claims to be the first pre-packaged energy shot.

Following the purchase of Sidekick from Bulmers last month and the launch of the 35cl Red Square Hot Shot in April 2003, Halewood are introducing the mini-shots as 7cl singles in the on-trade and as a boxed four pack of mini 7cl shots in the off-trade.

The Red Square brand, originally launched only as an RTD now includes Red Alert, Red Square Vodka and Red Square Reloaded (a combination of Red Alert and Red Square Vodka).

The Red Square Hot Shot minis are a mix of Ginseng, Taurine and Red Square Vodka. They have an abv of 20% and are priced at £1.50 as an individual for four or £4.99 RSP.

Richard Clark, marketing manager at Halewood said: "Both on- and off-trade retailers increasingly recognise the potential of mini bottles which offer increased freshness and flexibility & have tapped into the growing demand for premium shot based products.

"Red Square Hot Shot Minis will be well received by the target audience who will associate the drink with the familiarity and credibility of the Red Square brand."

The launch will be supported by marketing and PR activity as part of a £10m budget devoted to the Red Square products. The activity will include a national sampling programme, sponsorship packages, web site & consumer press coverage.