The idea for Cream Cutie, a wine-based chocolate orange cream liqueur, came about during brand owners John and Anne Hempstock's search for something new, different and all-natural with which to enter the cream liqueur market - currently dominated by Baileys. "We wanted a distinctive brand name, formula and presentation," said Anne Hempstock. "We had to do something completely different."
On board a plane, the Dumfries-based duo came up with the idea of the mini-wine bottle size for the tipple, which is aimed at the female market.
Anne said: "We went for the chocolate orange flavour as this proved to be the most popular in our market trials as did the wine-based formula, which cuts out chemical alcohols and fits in with our sassy girlie image."
However, their company, Balliol, also has its eye on a new set of consumers: "We are hoping the newcomer will appeal not only to the cream liqueur market but also to customers looking for a wee treat at a value-for-money price. We think there is a market for consumers who don't want to pay £10 or more for a large bottle of this kind of drink."
Priced at £1.99, the 13.9% liqueur is being introduced with a three-for-£5 offer. Containing no artificial colours or additives, it took the Hempstocks more than a year to develop the newcomer, which has so far achieved listing in Spar's Scottish stores and Martex cash and carries through Dundee-based wholesaler CJ Lang.
Although the company plans to concentrate heavily on the convenience sector to begin with, it is talking to big retail names, including Asda and Morrisons, which are both intrigued by what the company is trying to do, according to the Hempstocks.
The Scottish duo first hit the headlines in 2000 with their Wee Beasties brand. They have also created a stir within the whisky market with their deluxe offering - the Lord Balliol single malt Scotch Whisky, which they claim is now a top seller in Harrods.
To get Cream Cutie off to a good start, the company is planning to support the drink with in-store tastings, local advertising and radio competitions.