AUSTRALIA: Two Dogs has not had its day

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Two Dogs, Pernod Ricard's highly successful Australian alcopop, is not being withdrawn from its home market - at least not yet.Media reports that the brand was about to disappear were premature, Two Dogs' regional sales director, Australia and Asia, Ruth Yong, told brand is powering ahead with its exports, particularly to Japan where sales of 1m cases (300% growth) are expected this year.The world's first brewed alcoholic lemonade, Two Dogs has been hit hard by increased excises under Australia's new tax system which started on July 1.The cost of a case has increased from about $45 to $49, putting it at a price disadvantage with competing pre-mixed spirits, the prices of which had dropped.Yong said that withdrawing the product was just one option being considered. Others included changing the product to include malt and hops so that it attracted a lower excise, the same as beer."Or we could leave it as it is," she said.The inclusion of malt and hops would make the product similar to a drink brewed in Two Dog's home city of Adelaide by Lion Nathan's South Australian Brewing Company and exported to about 30 countries.It would also be the same as the Two Dogs product brewed under licence in the US specifically for this market.Consumer tastings were currently being conducted to assess whether Australian consumers would accept the alternative product. Currently, the Australian arm of HP Bulmer brews Two Dogs' local product. Launched in 1993, Two Dogs was taken over by Pernod Ricard in 1997.Chris Snow

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