Allied Domecq is to launch a cream liquor onto its key European markets, in the company's largest product launch in many years.

Tia Lusso, a blend of Jamaican coffee, rum and fresh cream, is an extension of the Tia Maria brand, however in practice it is being treated by the company as a separate product.

Allied is not targeting the brand at the traditional cream liquor market, but instead describes it as a "light sessionable drink". Speaking to just-drinks Jackie Fionda, brand vice president for Tia Lusso, said she was not interested in "scrapping for market share in the cream liquor category" but was instead focusing on the bigger picture of luring drinkers away from beer wines and spirits.

Tia Lusso will be backed by an extensive €50m marketing campaign, which will include television, cinema and print advertising as well as on- and off-trade promotions.

Its target audience is the 23- to 28-year-old women, or what Allied marketers are calling "batgirls", women with independent lifestyles who enjoy nightlife and friends.

Fionda said: "If the consumer research is anything to go by, this will be the best thing to hit the drinks shelf and bars for years."

She continued: "In the past 30 years there has been a huge innovation in foodstuffs, soft drinks and confectionery but the alcoholic beverage industry has been pretty sleepy in comparison. We reckon it's about time we had a brand for today."

Tia Lusso is to be launched in duty free and the UK from May. From there it will also be launched in Germany, Italy, Spain and the Benelux markets.

Fionda said Allied had some "aggressive volume presumptions" although would not confirm what these might be.

For a full analysis of the Allied Domecq launch of Tia Lusso see nest week's