WKD to unveil a “reinvented” new look and new flavours

WKD new bottles

Britain’s best-selling ready-to-drink (RTD) brand, WKD, is undergoing a pack redesign and developing plans to introduce lower-calorie variants.

Coinciding with this year’s 20th anniversary of the brand, it will have new 275ml bottle shapes with clean, stylish lines incorporating a fresh new WKD logo. The new bottle caps will come in a variety of bold, bright colours.

Aiming to bring a sophisticated feel to the design and add an element of fun, the complete refresh is designed to resonate with the lifestyles of today’s 18- to 24-year-old consumers at a time when the RTD category is in decline.

The “reinvention” of the brand will be supported by the new “WKD for the Now” communications programme to spread the word via a network of social and more traditional media platforms.

The new-look range will retain the original WKD Blue and WKD Iron Brew, joined by WKD Passion Fruit, formerly WKD Blush, and the new WKD Berry – giving them both specific flavour descriptors.

There are no fundamental changes to the liquid and the ABV remains at 4% ABV. The recommended price also is unchanged.

New imagery will be introduced for all outer cases and the new-look WKD packs will start to roll out from early October.

Brand owner SHS Drinks also has plans to extend the WKD family with the introduction of a new “lighter” lower-calorie range. The business is currently developing a pair of two-flavour combinations which it is planning to launch towards the end of this year.

SHS Drinks estimates that attracting one million new drinkers from the 18- to 24-year-old demographic could, over the next three years, generate an incremental £65m in sales for the RTD category across the total take-home and on-trade trading channels.

Jo Sykes, who has spearheaded the WKD transformation project team over the past year, said: “This isn’t a re-launch, it’s a reinvention of the WKD brand which has championed the development of the RTD category over the last two decades.

“WKD is a great brand with a great track record, and it has a number of core product qualities – the right taste, the right level of alcohol, and it provides an energising lift – all of which have strong appeal for today’s 18- to 24-year-old consumers, but as a brand proposition it needs to be made more relevant to this new generation of consumers.

“18- to 24-year-old consumers in 2016 have very different lifestyles, approaches, views and aspirations to their equivalent peer group 20 or even 10 years ago.

“Although the WKD brand and its marketing support have continued to evolve over the past two decades, and WKD’s sales performance is pretty much in line with that of the RTD category overall we want to get both the brand and the RTD category back into sustained growth.

“It became evident from the deep-dive consumer research we have been undertaking that a more radical and revolutionary approach is needed to bring in new RTD consumers and reverse the decline in sales.”

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