Bourbon brand, Jim Beam, part of the Fortune Brands group, is to launch an RTD offering in April or May. But unlike many other RTD products seen in the US, Jim Beam & Cola will contain actual Jim Beam bourbon rather than being malt-based.

Fortune Brands chairman and CEO, Norm Wesley believes the fact that Jim Beam & Cola has actual bourbon will set it apart from other "malternative" brands on the RTD market which, after strong growth, has shown signs of fragility in the past year.

Malternatives benefit from tax advantages over pre-mixed spirits but, initially, Fortune Brands plans to launch Jim Beam & Cola in states which do not tax spirits at a higher rate than malt-based alcoholic drinks.