paint the town red easy tiger morrisons cocktails

An Irish drinks brand that includes RTDs and alcoholic ice creams is to make its UK debut in 400 Morrisons stores next month.

Paint The Town Red – which was founded in 2013 by former Tesco Ireland BWS buyer Andrew Tidey and his brother Alistair – is launching two 4.5% abv RTDs into Morrisons: Sex On The Beach and Berry Daiquiri. The 275ml bottles retail in Ireland for €2.50.

Brand owner Easy Tiger said it was bringing the drinks to the UK following success in their home market of the Republic of Ireland, where they are listed by retailers including Tesco, Dunnes and Eurospar.

Paint The Town Red has recently expanded with alcoholic ice creams in flavours including Irish Cream Liqueur Choc Chip and Honey Bourbon Whisky Caramel. It has also launched two whisky-based RTDs – a whisky sour-style Sour Caterpillar and spiced bitter orange & ginger Jambaloo - in response to what Alistair Tidey said was growing interest among the 25 to 34-year-old women for whisky based drinks.

Easy Tiger is hoping to secure UK supermarket listings for these and the ice cream range this year. It is working with Irish state agency Bord Bia, which has a fast-track arrangement with Tesco to speed up introduction of successful Irish products to the UK.

“RTDs as a category has been in decline but still has an important role to play,” said Tidey. “We believe NPD is the key to reversing this trend and can drive new incremental sales growth into the category.”

After several years of stagnation, RTD sales grew 5% last year to £245m – despite a slight dip in volumes [Nielsen 52 w/e 11 October 2014]. The growth was driven by branded premix cans such as Gordon’s, Jack Daniel’s and Pimm’s, and by ready- to-serve cocktail brand Parrot Bay. Traditional RTD brands WKD, Smirnoff Ice and Bacardi Breezer all declined.

Dublin-based Easy Tiger carries out its own procurement of ingredients and packaging, and the drinks and ice creams are produced by third-party suppliers in County Wexford and County Cork respectively.