Wine-based Slinky will go on sale next month, nearly a year after plans for the extension were first mooted.
The Grocer revealed last August that Langguth, the German company behind the iconic Blue Nun brand, had put the launch on hold amid claims from buyers that the market was still in turmoil following a 4p duty hike in the annual Budget.
However, SHS Sales and Marketing, whose brands include WKD, has now been signed up as UK distributor for Slinky, a sparkling mix of white wine and a ‘hint of fruit’. SHS md John Black said: “The RTD market, worth £1.3bn, is a strong, dynamic market that’s here to stay. Slinky is a fusion of the old world of wine and the new world of RTDs. It’s a drink for women who have grown up with RTDs and now want a drink that’s more sophisticated and stylish.”
A £1m marketing package has been set aside to target women over the summer. Advertisements in consumer titles will use the strapline ‘It’s a Slinky thing’ alongside quotes from a series of chats between two women.
But despite the promised spend, buyers remain dubious about the newcomer’s merits.
Marcel Hayden, Somerfield’s head of category buying, said: “RTDs are in decline and this year we might see some of the brands disappearing.
“Based on my experience, I do not think RTD spritzers will do well because you can buy a bottle of wine and add mineral water to mix it yourself and get more for your money.
“However, a brand like Blue Nun will have a better chance than some others that are not known for their wine.”