Beefeater Winter Edition Chivas Brothers
Launched: September 2010
Beefeater is getting a track record for innovation. Beefeater 24, launched in October 2008, is a super-premium expression that is based on 12 botanicals, including tea, and is steeped for 24 hours. In April this year Chivas Brothers followed this with a Summer Edition, and has now introduced a winter variant (rsp: £17.99).
Developed by master distiller Desmond Payne, Winter Edition contains botanicals such as cinnamon, nutmeg, pine shoots and Seville orange peel to create a "spiced, warming gin". The launch has so far been limited to upmarket retailers.
Home Draught Molson Coors
Launched: May 2010
Molson Coors launched the 10-pint packaging for its Carling, Coors Light and Grolsch lagers following a lengthy trial in both the UK and US. There have been various attempts over the years to introduce bulk packaging to UK consumers, who are less familiar with the format than their US counterparts.
The launch, backed by an £8m spend, was aimed at driving value back into a beer category that the producer fears is becoming commoditised. Retailers have been wary of large-pack beer in the past but Home Draught (rsp: £14-£18) gained listings in Morrisons and Sainsbury's.
Le Froglet wine in a glass M&S
Launched: July 2010
Given short shrift on Dragons' Den, the single-serve packaging developed by entrepreneur James Nash has generated huge sales in M&S's 'food on the move' aisle and provided the kind of NPD that retailers have long complained is lacking in wine.
M&S uses the technology inspired by the glue-free seals in yoghurt packaging for Le Froglet (rsp: £2.25), a French wine range also sold in bottles. Few now remember that Constellation attempted something similar with Echo Falls in 2008. Perhaps the idea was ahead of its time, or simply didn't get the retail attention it deserved.
Snow Grouse Maxxium UK
Launching: Early 2011
Made from grain whisky and designed to be served frozen, Snow Grouse (rsp: £16) is already available in some Scandinavian markets and travel outlets and makes its UK debut early next year, says distributor Maxxium UK. Commercial operations director Mark Riley is confident it will do well in take-home and deliver much-needed innovation.
"In the Nordics they have chiller units that the bottle sits in, and that creates great impact at point of purchase. We will launch with a variety of serve options: some straight and others involving mixability."
Focus On Alcoholic Drinks