Allied Domecq, the world's second largest wine and spirits group, is to launch a flavoured version of one of its flagship brands Beefeater in an attempt to stimulate growth in the US gin market.

Gin producers have watched in vain as vodka sales rocketed in the last decade, helped in part by the various flavoured extensions to the major brand names, including Beefeater's stablemate Stolichnaya.

The brand, called Wet by Beefeater, is a pear-infused gin, and Allied's attempt to emulate the success of its white-spirit cousin. Indeed Simon Cunningham, executive vice president for marketing for Allied Domecq Spirits North America said he is confident that Wet by Beefeater can rejuvenate the parent brand and is looking for growth rates of between 5% and 7% for Beefeater in five years.

An Allied spokeswoman told just-drinks that the launch will take place in Miami on Wednesday evening, before becoming available in New York early next year, to be followed by a roll out across other US cities.
Allied also said that that the gin, which will be packaged using the Beefeater name and icon, will also be available in Europe and Asia Pacific next year, although exact details were still unavailable at this time. The drink will be priced above regular Beefeater, being available at between US$21.99 and US$23.99.