COMMENT: V&S Group - cutting through the clutter
After experiencing phenomenal growth during the early days, manufacturers' and consumers' enthusiasm for the RTD market has since waned, especially in recognition of growing market clutter. However, the V&S Group's focus on taste and image in designing Absolut Cut should ensure a positive reception, particularly in Europe.
Last week, premium vodka brand Absolut made its debut in the RTD arena. The global roll-out of Absolut Cut began in Canada, which is serving as the product's test market. The popular Swedish distiller has teamed up with Labatt Breweries of Canada, a subsidiary of Interbrew. Labatt will oversee all production and distribution of Cut locally.
Cut is a combination of citrus fruits, including lime, orange and mandarin, sparkling water and Absolut vodka. It has just a slight hint of sweetness and a short, clean aftertaste. Premium priced, it will be introduced in sleek open- basket four-packs while individual product packaging resembles a small bottle of Absolut vodka with etched cuts into the glass.
The makers have identified that because of evolving consumer preferences there is an opportunity for a more sophisticated product in numerous global RTD markets. Bengt Baron, president of V&S Absolut Spirits, described Cut as the "next generation of pre-mixed drinks, ready to change the segment in the same way as Absolut Vodka did to the vodka segment in 1979".
Although the V&S Group's official plans for Absolut Cut outside Canada remain relatively secret, the Swedish brand owner recently confirmed to industry publication 'The Grocer' that it was considering a UK launch.
There are numerous factors that will influence the success of any prospective launch. Firstly, emphasizing the credentials of the parent Absolut brand will be an important factor in creating the necessary premium position the brand seeks in an image-focused category. Absolut is certainly known as a premium vodka and the success of Smirnoff Ice has already illustrated the important role parent brands can play.
Importantly, Cut has also focused on new taste attributes after identifying that people are now looking for a less sweet, somewhat drier drink. Assuming that consumers will be receptive to the premium price that accompanies the premium positioning, a successful UK and Europe launch may be just around the corner.
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) recently introduced new guidelines for the responsible promotion of alcohol. Ben Cooper spoke with the BBPA's director of communications, Mark Hastings, abo...
The global roll-out of InBev's Brazilian beer, Brahma, adds a third premium brand to the global brewer's international portfolio but some observers have suggested it's an unnecessary step which threat...
Functional soft drinks are relatively undeveloped in Latin America in comparison with Europe but there is significant growth potential. Hope Lee of industry analysts, Euromonitor International, examin...
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is planning to lend Romania's European Drinks Group €195m to fund a long-term investment and expansion programme....
InBev has announced that the deadline for the receipt of acceptances for the recommended offers of US$33.41 for the remaining Class A (non-voting) shares in SUN Interbrew, along with Class A Securitie...
SUN Interbrew is looking to buy into a Siberian brewer, according to local press reports....
V&S Absolut Spirits has opened a new distillery in Nöbbelöv, just outside Åhus....
Interbrew UK has announced plans to launch a new speciality beer....
- Why consumers don't care about vodka's provenance
- Pernod Ricard's FY Performance by Region, Brand
- Japan follows in Scotch whisky's footsteps
- Brown-Forman's Q1 Performance by Region, Brand
- Pernod Ricard's FY fiscal-2015 - Preview
- Diageo launches glass Bulleit & Cola bottles
- Pernod Ricard "in line" after full-year results
- Pernod Ricard releases social medial guide
- Bruno Mars rum rolls out across US
- Brown-Forman CEO unfazed by FX headwinds
- Global gin insights - market data, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Future growth opportunities for global spirits
- Global vodka insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global Tequila insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research