Exclusive Tim Palmer Holsten is to launch its radical new Fusion brand to the trade within weeks, with the first bottles hitting shelves by May. The Grocer revealed the plans for the top secret project earlier this month. Now Holsten has given us an exclusive sneak preview of the brand which is set to create a new category in the UK drinks market, sandwiched between lager and premium packaged spirits. The German brewer has created a new beer at its Hamburg brewery for the three-strong lager and fruit range of drinks. It even launched a two-year research programme which helped to identify lemon, apple and blackcurrant as the flavours consumers most wanted to try. Now Holsten plans to back the newcomer with a £2m marketing budget with the cash going towards a major sampling initiative and an instore visibility programme. It plans to keep momentum behind the brand with press advertising at the end of summer. UK md Jeremy Main said: "What we have done is evolve lager and given consumers another option. The premium packaged lager market is crying out for something new. "Fusion has the credibility of the Holsten name and a flavour which gives it a new edge. With this we can move into the territory dominated by Budweiser, Becks and premium packaged spirits." He added: "Holsten drinkers tend to be older. Fusion appeals to a younger age group because of its sweeter and less bitter taste." Listings have been agreed with Tesco and Main is confident others will also take it on. {{DRINKS }}