Heineken Cruzcampo (UK variant)

  • Category – beer, lager
  • ABV – 4.4%
  • Location – UK
  • Price – Not immediately available

Heineken is to debut a version of its Cruzcampo Spanish lager in the UK in draught format. The pilsner-style beer, which has its origins in Seville, will be brewed in the UK in Manchester. Initially the beer will be sold exclusively in the on-premise, with an off-premise launch to follow.

Just Drinks thinks: Cruzcampo has been a staple of Heineken’s business in Spain since the brewer bought the brand from Diageo in 1999. The move to introduce a version of the beer to the UK market will doubtless have been made with an envious eye on the success Molson Coors Beverage Co. has enjoyed with the creation of its own Madri brand (in February, Molson Coors, without giving data, said Madri “in less than two years it has become one of our top five above premium brands globally”). Like Madri, this Cruzcampo will be brewed in the UK as opposed to imported from the country from which it purports to hail.

Unsurprisingly, Heineken has also chosen to dial down the abv for its UK Cruzcampo experiment from 5% to 4.4%. This will enable the Dutch brewer to benefit from upcoming duty changes, as well as make the drink a more palatable strength to the UK-pint favouring consumer.

To make space in its UK portfolio for Cruzcampo, Heineken has also offloaded the rights to Kronenbourg 1664 to Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC), although it will continue to list that brand in its estate of Star Pubs Bars pubs.  

Symington Family Estates Altano Organic Rosé

  • Category – wine, rosé
  • ABV – 13%
  • Location – Global (11 markets including Portugal, Belgium and the UK)
  • Price – £15 ($18.70) per 75cl bottle

Portuguese Port and wine maker Symington Family Estates has elected to launch its first-ever rosé wine. Altano Organic Rosé is a blend of Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, and Tinto Cão grape varieties grown in northern Portugal’s Vilariça Valley and farmed in the 2021 harvest.

Just Drinks thinks: Rosé wine continues to nip at the heels of more well-established wine segments, having grown by 23% since 2022 according to The Observatoire Mondial du Rosé. Alongside this, organic wine is also growing in popularity among health- and environmentally-conscious consumers. In this context, Symington’s decision to add an organic rosé to its still wine roster seems smart and like a good compliment to its Altano brand’s range of Douro DOC reds.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

It’s also not a surprise to see Symington continuing to diversify its portfolio away from high abv, heavy and sweet wines towards more fresh, vibrant lighter products, reflecting broader changes in consumer tastes. Late last year, the company acquired a 28-hectare estate in the Vinho Verde-producing region, while in August it purchased a 50% stake of Caves Transmontanas, a Douro producer of the sparkling wine brand Vértice. All the above feels like sensible future planning from the fifth-generation family-owned Port house.

Heineken Tiger Soju Infused Lager

  • Category – beer, lager
  • ABV – 4-5.5% (varies by market)
  • Location – Singapore, Vietnam
  • Price – Not immediately available

Heineken has launched Tiger Soju-Infused Lager in Singapore. The lager is the Dutch headquartered brewer’s take on the South Korean somaek drink, which is a blend of soju and beer.

Just Drinks thinks: Heineken has shown a willingness to diversify the offerings of its beer brands depending on local preferences. Just last year the Amstel brewer moved its Desperados brand into hard seltzer in The Netherlands to try and capitalise on local interest in the category. The mixing of soju and beer, meanwhile, has been ubiquitous in South Korea for some time but is growing in popularity in some other markets in Asia amid the popularity of K-culture.

Framed in this context, we can see why Heineken thinks it could be onto a winner with this launch. The drinks, which come in plum and melon variants, are designed to mimic the popular flavours of soju, but at a more sessionable strength (4-5.5% abv, depending on the market).

Brockmans Orange Kiss

  • Category – spirits, gin
  • ABV – 40%
  • Location – UK
  • Price – £34 ($42.39) per 70cl bottle.

Brockmans, the UK gin distiller, has announced its first brand extension since its establishment in 2008. Brockmans Orange Kiss takes traditional gin botanicals including juniper and coriander, and adds the flavours of Triple Sec and Valencian orange.

Just Drinks thinks: First came pink, then orange. Gin’s flavour craze shows no signs of abating, and English distiller Brockmans has become the latest producer to introduce a Mediterranean-inspired variant. Joining the likes of Diageo’s Tanqueray and Gordon’s brands, as well as Pernod’s Beefeater and Beam Suntory’s Sipsmith in launching an orange-flavoured gin isn’t exactly ground-breaking innovation but could still prove popular in the UK over the summer months.

The independent distiller says it has designed its first flavoured gin to work as a standalone, with tonic or in a variety of cocktails. The mention of Triple Sec in the tasting notes suggests Brockmans sees the product as a viable Tequila alternative in a gin-based Margarita, a cocktail that we think could prove a hit among those hesitant to dive headlong into agave.  

Boroco Sierra Tequila Tropical Chilli

  • Category – spirits, Tequila
  • ABV – 18%
  • Location – Germany, UK
  • Price – €14.99 ($16.44) per 500ml bottle.

Borco, the German-headquartered spirits brand owner, has launched a lower abv variant for its Sierra Tequila brand. Sierra Tequila Tropical Chilli is made from a base of Sierra’s blanco variant, infused with flavours of mango, passion fruit and a hint of chilli.

Just Drinks thinks: One of the more baffling pieces of NPD that we can think of in recent times. Yes, consumers are looking to moderate their alcohol consumption across much of western Europe, and yes, Tequila is one of the categories tipped to grow fastest over the next half-decade. But Sierra Tequila – a brand known for its tacky plastic sombrero hat and one so closely associated with cheap, shot-drinking culture – doesn’t exactly strike us as the most obvious candidate for a lower abv Tequila expression.

Perhaps Borco hopes the addition of tropical flavours and chilli will lead curious consumers to switch from their staple blanco or reposado expression in favour of a more mindful party pick, but we’re not so sure. Still, at least it comes with a fancy new blue coloured hat.