Bottlegreen RTD can range

Bottlegreen’s RTDs contain less than 150 calories per can

SHS-owned soft drinks brand Bottlegreen is to further extend into alcohol with a trio of 5% abv vodka RTDs made in partnership with English distiller Edwards 1902.

Cans in Elderflower, Raspberry and Lime & Mint (rsp: £2.50/250ml) will launch in Sainsbury’s and Morrisons from mid-April.

They offered “guilt-free indulgence for consumers who crave both flavour and quality”, Bottlegreen said.

The main target consumer for the RTDs was “a slightly older female demographic” that tended to underindex in the category, according to Sarah Lawson, head of marketing at Bottlegreen.

“We know that when these people get to the [RTD] fixture they can feel slightly overwhelmed and like everything is either a bit too high in alcohol or sickly sweet,” she said. “Our research identified a gap for something premium and lower in calories but without compromise in taste – that was only being fulfilled in the main by gin-based products currently.”

As a result, Bottlegreen’s RTDs were formulated to be lower in sugar, and with fewer than 150 calories per can, she added.

Lawson said the move into booze could also improve household penetration of Bottlegreen’s cordials.

“There’s a lot more opportunity to drive awareness and also for people to understand the versatility of cordial,” she said. “We’re hoping people will pick up the cans and it might encourage them to buy the cordial and see what else they can do with it.

“Likewise, we’re hoping that there’ll be some people that we bring from cordial over into RTDs to help drive incremental growth within that category with a slightly different demographic.”

The NPD comes after Bottlegreen teamed up with Edwards 1902 to release an elderflower vodka liqueur last summer.

Bottlegreen opted to partner with a posher spirits producer in Edwards 1902 for its foray into booze to play up the brand’s premium credentials, Lawson said.

“Edwards aren’t in the grocery mults, so it’s slightly different to other brands that may be better known to consumers,” she said. “But when we tested it [with shoppers], it only bought another level of quality perception.

“They thought it sounded like something luxurious you might find in a high-end bar.”