Red Bull UK is to make its first foray into alcoholic drinks in the off-trade with the launch of a Thai ready-to-drink brand.
The company is to distribute the Thai hibiscus-infused wine-based RTD product Sabai, which means “chill out”, into the off-trade next summer after two decades of success in its homeland. It hopes to follow it with the launch of other wine-based RTDs.
Produced from Thai grapes at Siam Winery in Thailand, Sabai is being trialled in bars in major UK cities before its off-trade launch. Red Bull UK will also look after sales and marketing in the UK for the brand.
The drink is made with white wine combined with mineral water and the hibiscus fruit, which is reputed to have stress-relieving qualities and results in a pink-coloured liquid. “We will definitely introduce the product into the off-trade next year once we have reached certain milestones,” said Stephen Loftus, marketing director at Siam Winery. “At the moment we are explaining what the product is and getting an affinity with the customer. The drink has been successful for many years in Thailand and the company has been waiting patiently until it felt the time was right to tackle the UK market.”
Red Bull UK will distribute the 300ml Sabai, which has a new label design for the export market. The packaging for Sabai aims to reflect its authentic Thai heritage and won’t be branded under the Red Bull name.
The company also hopes to introduce Siam’s Monsoon Valley wine brand into the UK off-trade next year. Both wine products are designed to complement spicy Thai food.
Sonya Hook