UK: Allied to launch Tia Maria RTD in UK and US

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After the success of its Kahlua RTD brands, Allied Domecq is developing a new Tia Maria pre-mixer for the US and UK markets.

Sources close the company told that the yet unnamed brand hopes to consolidate the impressive growth Tia Maria has seen in the on-trade sector. According to AC Nielsen, the coffee liqueur brand saw an 8.5% growth in the UK on-trade (MAT Nov-Dec) and now holds an overall 11% market share in the UK on-trade - second behind UDV's Baileys in the liqueur sector.

Kahlua's RTD range, including the White Russian and Mudslide, has taken the US by storm and have become some of Allied's key growth brands. Though the company would not comment on the rumour, an Allied spokesman told that Tia Maria's overall growth was 8.4% and was "outperforming its main spirits rivals in the UK such as Southern Comfort, Bacardi and Archer's".

Two of these brands have already launched their own products in the rapidly expanding PPS market. Bacardi-Martini's popular Bacardi Breezer is the fastest-growing PPS in the UK market (overtaking Smirnoff Ice during the Christmas period) while UDV has recently introduced Archer's Aqua, though to mixed reviews. One analyst said: "Archer's Aqua seems a last ditch attempt to save a dying brand. Tia Maria may have a better chance as the brand's on-trade presence still has growth potential."

During the Easter holidays, Tia Maria launched its wicked promotion pack, containing a 70cl bottle of Tia Maria, a Tia Maria highball glass and Tia Maria chocolate truffles. It also included a £1 off redemption voucher and a "Dare You Mix It" booklet featuring a range of ways to enjoy Tia Maria.

Allied Domecq's brand director for spirits, Richard Hayes said, when the promotion was announced, that in the coming months the company's key objective was "to expand the ways in which current drinkers use Tia Maria, at the same time reinforcing the brands positioning as a modern mixable spirit."

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