wkd redesign

SHS Drinks hopes to ‘reignite’ the RTD category with the next stage of its plan to abolish WKD’s image as a sugary alcopop. The supplier is preparing the biggest push for the brand in its 20-year history, including a first foray into ‘healthier’ offerings.

The overhaul - which hopes to grow the WKD portfolio by £20m over the next three years - will kick off in October with a “contemporary and colourful” look and updated names that focus on the fruit, in a bid to create a ‘healthier image’. Blush, rolled out in February as a move away from WKD’s ‘laddish’ image, will be renamed Passion Fruit.

To “become relevant again”, the drinks will served in retro-style bottles as part of a revamp the company described as “revolutionary”. In addition, SHS will prioritise its single 275ml bottle in multiple grocers - rather than focusing on multipacks and the bigger 700ml bottle - to encourage trial.

The makeover will be followed by WKD’s first two lower-calorie variants, set to hit shelves towards the end of the year. The duo is still in development, but would feature a “lighter and less sweet” taste profile to resonate with a generation of young adults that didn’t buy into the RTD category, said SHS marketing director Jo Sykes.

She predicted the revamp would add £20m in incremental sales to the brand’s off-trade value during the next three years by attracting one million new drinkers from the age bracket.

SHS is set to run a multimillion-pound campaign based on a ‘WKD for the Now’ slogan.

“This is the biggest move for the brand since launch in 1996, and we expect to reignite the category, which we estimate will grow by £38m in the off-trade in the same period, with more than half of that coming from WKD,” Sykes told The Grocer. “We have re-tuned WKD so it is fully engaged with the lifestyle of today’s young drinkers.”