Carlsberg UK is going head to head with Heineken by launching a rival premium bottled Italian lager to Heineken's Birra Moretti brand.
Carlsberg is introducing the 5% abv Birra Poretti to strengthen its premium lager portfolio in the UK, which currently comprises Carlsberg Export and Holsten Pils.
The beer will be up against the similar-sounding Birra Moretti, Heineken UK's Italian lager brand, which is currently celebrating its one year anniversary in the UK. Heineken's 4.6% abv lager has been closely linked to Italian food and was the subject of a Taste of Italy campaign last year.
Birra Poretti will be imported from the north of Italy, and like Moretti, which dates back to 1859, Carlsberg's brand has a long history in its domestic country dating back to 1877.
Its launch will include marketing support, such as press advertising, which will also play heavily on Bira Porretti's Italian provenance and position it as an ideal accompaniment to Italian food.
The 300ml beer, priced at £3.39 for a four-pack, will be aimed at consumers aged 25-40 according to Carlsberg, and it has a floral and fruity flavour.
Innovation manager Nick Howells said: "Consumers are increasingly looking to explore within the beer category and we are seeing this trend reflected in premium lager with the emergence of a number of discrete sub-segments. Beers with a true global or ethnic origin are very much part of this."