?A super-tasting product for those with a sweet tooth, but a little too niche to be successful in the UK. The packaging is smart without being overpowering but the branding does not send a strong "buy me" signal to the target market. There's no doubt the odd Magners drinker will sample it from the top shelf of one or two specialist off-licence chains, but I can't see widespread listings in what is becoming a crowded but fast-growing market. Not one for MBL.
John Taylor, head of buying, impulse, MBL
?I like the bottle size and shape.It's male-oriented and looks like a traditional real-ale bottle. The brand name isn't clear on the label. However, the fact it is cider stands out. It has an attractive aroma and the bubbles are a nice size but it tastes sweet and artificial - a bit like Starburst or Skittles. It doesn't taste like I expected it to from the packaging and I think given the taste profile, the packaging should aim at a younger market - people who drink RTDs, for example. I could probably only manage one bottle of this because it is so sweet.
Tim Armitage, musician, Peterborough
A year down the line... King Cobra Company: Cobra Launch price: £3.99 Today's price: £3.99 Acid test verdict: 4 stars
Presented in a 750ml Champagne-style bottle, King Cobra initially launched in Selfridges stores across the UK in 2006. Today it is stocked by Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, convenience stores and off-licences. Having sold about 27,000 cases in 2006 the producer predicts a 100% growth for 2007. The drink has benefited from promotion in Sainsbury's. The next stage of the marketing strategy will encourage beer and food matching.