Diageo is throwing its Archers schnapps brand into the wine arena with the launch of a new sparkling line.

Archers Eden combines fruit schnapps and wine and comes in Berry Rosé and Citrus White variants.

The 5% abv drink will be launched exclusively in Asda next week as part of a pre-Christmas trial with initial results expected in January.

Diageo said Archers Eden would retail at £3.48 for a 70cl bottle and would be positioned in the sparkling wine fixture, which buyers believe needs a new branded proposition.

Steve Dancer, general manager of beers, wine and
spirits at Asda, said: “The sparkling wine category is an important part of our offering and we feel that a credible branded proposition like Archers Eden would help drive further customer satisfaction.” Eden is the second extension to the Archers range after Diageo introduced its Archers Aqua RTD brand in 2001.

Chris Stagg, Diageo’s senior innovation manager, said: “The past two years have seen a regular stream of innovation from Archers as the brand has developed new products to meet consumer tastes.”

However, a senior buyer at a leading multiple questioned the development: “The Archers brand is not as big as Baileys, its fellow stable-mate.

“I don’t know if it’s strong enough to support being stretched into wine as well as RTDs.”

In a separate move, Diageo is trialling a spiced version of its Captain Morgan’s rum. Brighton has been selected as the test bed for Morgan’s Spiced, which is already sold in Scotland, to assess a possible nationwide launch. The trial includes a TV ad in the Meridian region.
Rosie Davenport