Bulmers latest new product launch recognises the on-trade trend for drinking shots alongside long drinks. The cider maker has come up with Sidekick ­ a range of single serve flavoured schnapps in a 30ml PET shot glass with an easy to open plastic lid. This is designed to sit on the side of a standard glass or the top of a bottle. New product development manager Tim Bowdin believes his team has identified a gap in the market and said one of the benefits of Sidekick is that it only has 20% alcohol, which is half that of most of the spirits used as shots or chasers, such as tequila and vodka. He said young people who have led this trend like the fun of this kind of group drinking but do not like the loss of control through high alcohol intake. The product may create some controversy as it could be seen to encourage mixing drinks and the rapid consumption of alcohol. But Bowdin said Bulmers had worked with the Portman Group throughout the brand's development. Bowdin is going for a national launch supported by a £4m marketing budget which will get off the ground this autumn. This will include TV and possibly cinema advertising. Bowdin said: "We are going national straight away. We want to reach consumers in the most motivating way. We have already had a very positive response from retailers and consumers. "They believe it is something different. There is nothing else in this size, it tastes nice and it is relatively light drinking." The marketing emphasis will be in the on-trade but it will be available in take home where a four pack will retail at £2.69. {{DRINKS }}