WKD extends range with blush-style drink and ‘hot’ shot


WKD Blue Fiery Shot Blush

SHS Drinks is continuing to extend its successful WKD brand with the launch of two new lines – a blush-style drink and a shot flavour.

WKD Blush taps into the growing popularity of blush-style drinks in other categories such as wine, wine fusions and ciders. Coming in 275ml bottles, it has ABV of 4% and is passion fruit flavour – the first WKD product to be given a specific flavour descriptor.

In another new move for the WKD brand, the packaging is more feminine and sophisticated, giving WKD Blush a particular appeal among women while not being rejected by male WKD drinkers during consumer research.

The second new product is WKD Fiery Shot, a 15% ABV “hot” shot with a “mango & chilli flavour” descriptor. It comes in 700ml bottles with a vibrant, colourful, high-impact sleeve design.

It has been created to appeal to current and lapsed WKD drinkers as an exciting new way to consume WKD on drinking occasions with groups of friends. With most “hot” shots currently available being cinnamon-based, the mango and chilli flavour brings something new to the market.

The WKD Fiery Shot joins WKD Blue Shot, which was initially seeded into selected pubs and bars as WKD 1 last year and has now been re-named. It also has a new bottle design to align it with the new WKD Fiery Shot.

The new lines are being rolled out from mid-February and are being introduced after extensive, in-depth research into the changing lifestyles of 2,000 18- to 24-year olds – the key consumers of ready-to-drink products (RTDs).

Working with leading research companies, it explored attitudes and aspirations, drinks and drinking occasions, and highlighted opportunities for growth and expansion of the £242m RTD category.

The new additions are being supported with a mix of digital marketing, screen-media advertising and initiatives in bars, pubs and clubs including floor-selling tools and increasing visibility via point-of-sale materials.

Debs Carter, marketing director for alcohol at SHS Drinks, said: “Our new launches embrace innovation and trends, and will invigorate the RTD category by bringing a fresh new approach and attracting new RTD consumers.

“They have been created to resonate with RTDs’ key 18- to 24-year-old consumers who have very different lifestyles, approaches, views and aspirations to their equivalent peer group 10 or 20 years ago.

“70% of 18/19-year-olds are still studying, and young people are living with their parents longer and need to assert their maturity and independence in other areas of their lives.

“They are motivated to be mature and want to be taken seriously, and in today’s 24/7 digital era when anything you do can be captured at any time, image is everything and they want to manage and be in control of that.

“But they still want to enjoy themselves, and they live in a genuinely gender-inclusive society which has moved on significantly from the gender-specific ‘new man’, ‘girl power’ and ‘lads’/’ladettes’ cultural trends of the 1980s and 1990s.

“As 18- to 24-year-olds are the primary consumers of RTDs, it’s essential that RTD brands engage with and are seen to be relevant to this particular age group’s lifestyles.

“We are responding to the changes highlighted in the research by giving these consumers greater choice and introducing new lines which are attuned to their tastes and the way they live their lives today.

“WKD Blush appeals to both males and females, it meets the demand for and popularity of blush-style drinks and is presented in a more sophisticated pack design, while WKD Shots are a natural extension for the WKD brand as there is genuine interest in and cross-over consumption of shots amongst RTD drinkers.

“At 15% ABV, WKD Fiery will open up a new opportunity in the 13.5% to 20% ABV sector of the shots category which is currently worth around £174m annually in on-trade sales.

“WKD remains by far and away the number-one RTD brand by value and a proactive approach to NPD and innovation has played a major role in establishing and maintaining WKD’s category leadership.

“There is a thirst amongst WKD consumers for new and exciting ideas from WKD, and this year the new duo will broaden the footprint of the brand and lay the foundation for a new era in the development of WKD and the RTD category.”

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