By Pat Brazzier

The UK's largest retailer Tesco plc has launched its own RTD range. The range, which is exclusive to Tesco, is produced by Intercontinental Brands (ICB Ltd) and retails at £1.19.

The Tesco brand is vodka based and has three variants - Cranberry & Schizandra, Grapefruit & Green Tea and Lemon & Ginseng. It will be available in 27.5cl bottles and have an abv of 4.0%.

The move by Tesco follows similar launches from Asda, the Co-Op and Marks & Spencer, who have been retailing their own RTD ranges for a number of years.

Although there is no doubt that the RTD category has been affected by the 2002 budget increase, producers continue to fight back.

Bacardi and Brown-Forman are currently trialling Jack Daniels Black Jack (5.5% abv/27.5cl) for a period of six months. The brand has two variants - JD/Cola/Citrus and JD/Citrus/Ginger.

Pat Brazzier is a beverage analyst for P.A.S.H. Beverage Research