Datamonitors' Productscan Online has noted some interesting packaging designs in new drinks launches this month, which highlight the increasing length manufacturers will go to to get their products noticed. The gun shaped vodka bottle is an unusual package design and will certainly gain attention, while sachets of spirits and plastic beer bottles have a more practical feel about them.

An unusually packaged vodka has been launched in the US by Poland-based Polmos Bialystok. The Roaring 20's Tommy Guns Vodka is packaged in a novelty machine gun-shaped 750ml glass bottle, which its makers say is meant to denote the atmosphere of the 1920s, with its bootlegging, speakeasies and gangster culture. The packaging may not go down well with anti-gun lobbyists, but consumers may appreciate its novelty value.

Another oddly packaged product line is the Premium Alcohol Sachets by Sachet Systems. Launched in France, these are single shots of whiskies, vodkas, gin and Cognac presented in plastic sachets. The sachets are designed for use on airplanes or other locations where space is confined, as a replacement for miniature glass and plastic bottles. They are said to be more environmentally friendly than miniatures - as they are made from recycled materials - and cost less to produce. However, the ketchup-style packaging may deter consumers, as they could be perceived as lacking a certain sophistication.

Staying with the packaging theme, beer giant Coors has launched a new style Coors Light bottle in the US, which it claims stays cooler for longer than conventional glass bottles and cans. The bottles are made from amber coloured plastic which are said to insulate the beer, keeping it cool. The plastic bottles may also have an added advantage in that they are cheaper to produce than glass.

Over in Vietnam, Interfood Processing Industry has recently released a basil flavored soft drink under the Wonderfarm brand. Basil is not a flavor that crops up in drinks very often, shown in the fact that the product is the first basil seed drink to be reported by Productscan. However, it may appeal to consumers who are on a health drive as it is said to provide vitamins and energy.

An equally unusual flavoured beverage has been launched in Iran by Pak Dairy. The company has released a date flavoured milk drink, containing cow's milk, date juice, and cream. The product is described as a refreshing drink with a smooth taste, and does away with making any health claims. However, the dates in the drink could have the added benefit of aiding the digestive process.

Finally, over in Argentina, Derivados Naturales de Frutas has released Pulpa de Fruta, a solid, frozen fruit pulp mix available in banana, peach and strawberry flavors, which can be added to milk, water or alcohol to make a refreshing drink. Adults and children may appreciate its icy consistency in hot weather, making it an ideal drink for the summer!