Halewood International is the latest player to extend its ready-to-drink (RTD) portfolio into the pre-mix category, with the launch of Red Square Vodka and Tonic.

The drink, in a 250ml can, offers blended vodka and tonic that can be enjoyed straight from the can or poured into a glass with

ice and a slice of lemon.

The company said it developed this combination based on research into which drink would fit

women's busy lifestyles.

The 8% abv can, which will also be sold as a four-pack, will be available to the off-trade, priced between 99p and £1.29 a can. It is aimed at women aged between 25 and 45.

Head of marketing Richard Clark said: "We

are very excited about this development and believe Red Square Vodka and Tonic has the attributes to compete strongly in the pre-mix market, which represents a real growth category as the ready-to-drink sector continues to evolve."

"RTDs are still huge," said Clark, "but the category is changing shape with new entrants such as Diageo's Quinn's. We are pleased Diageo brought out its Classic Mix range but think we have something better."

Halewood brought out its Café Kiss pre-mixed canned drink earlier this year. Clark said the company had just received a range of off-trade listings for the chilled vodka and coffee drink and plans to bring out further variants to the pre-mixed Red Square Vodka in cans in February 2007.

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