The Bacardi Mojito-branded packs of ice cubes (rsp: £1) have been rolled out to Tesco stores nationwide this week, a fortnight ahead of schedule to capitalise on the World Cup and the warm weather.
The 2kg bags feature the messages 'Bacardi mojito - the original mojito' and 'what ice was invented for'.
Tesco spirits buyer Mark Suddaby initiated the launch having met Bacardi Brown-Forman and The Ice Company on 5 May to discuss ways of using ice cubes to make the spirits category more appealing to consumers and take advantage of the trend for at-home cocktail-making.
"This launch addresses my spirits strategy for the year," said Suddaby. "We need to drive penetration of overall spirits and are looking at using other products to help drive sales. We thought about possibly introducing high-penetration products such as lemons, limes and mint leaves into the drinks aisle, but decided ice was more straightforward."
Bacardi Brown-Forman's marketing manager Nik Krys said speed was of the essence when it came to the product's launch. "We realised this was an opportunity that had to be turned round quickly to get the pack into store for June. If ever there were a time for perfectly balanced Bacardi Mojitos and perfectly chilled drinks, it is now."
The Ice Company already supplies bagged ice cubes under the Polarcube, Blue Keld and Party Ice value brands, but Krys said the Bacardi-branded packaging would stand out in the freezers and have stronger resonance with shoppers.
"In the on-trade, drinks are long and refreshingly packed with ice. But UK fridges are usually not equipped with more than a dozen cubes."
MD of The Ice Company Paul Doughty predicted the launch would prompt further innovation with Bacardi and "maybe other drinks companies".