?Full marks to Coors for a sound attempt to add value to a sector that has been heavily discounted this year. The packaging design is clean and sharp, while retaining the distinctiveness of the Carling brand. However, I am a little unsure whether the on-pack mid-strength message will be strong enough to appeal to the target consumer. The product is smooth-tasting and sufficiently full-bodied to satisfy thirst after a long day. The £2.99 introductory pricing is very keen for the run-up to Christmas.
John Taylor, head of buying, impulse, MBL
?Very nice. I really enjoyed Carling C2. It is easy to drink and, despite being a mid-strength beer, it had the flavour and full body of a standard lager. I can see myself having one of these when on driving duty. The only problem is that I would be likely to fancy more. My wife also tasted it and, although she is not a particularly keen lager drinker, really liked it. With its bright packaging I would notice Carling C2 in the shops, so I don't think trial is going to be an issue.
Kerry Bowen, civil engineer, 44, Reigate, Surrey
Overall verdict...40/50 WKD Red Company: Beverage Brands Launch Price: £1.29 per bottle Today's Price: £1.29 per bottle Acid test verdict: 43/50
WKD Red had a very warm reception from our panel when tested a year ago, with an equally positive verdict from both the buyer and consumer. It would appear they were spot on, as the RTD has so far generated annual take-home sales of £5m. This is quite an achievement considering the continuing decline in the total RTD market, which dropped 12% to £236m in the past year [ACNielsen MAT to 12 August 2006]. The success helped the overall WKD brand, which is up 16% to £55.4m, to overtake Smirnoff Ice as the bestselling RTD.