>>Who is at the cutting edge of NPD?
Product: Vodshake
Company: InterContinental Brands
Launch date: December 2004

Vodshake from InterContinental Brands has been launched to breathe much-needed life into the ailing RTD sector.

The newcomer is a 4% abv blend of vodka, cream and fruit flavours, with the consistency of a smoothie.

According to ICB’s joint MD, Paul Burton, the idea for Vodshake came from the company’s customers.

"Because there is a lot of doom and gloom in the RTD market at the moment, we were repeatedly asked for something different to stir interest - companies are finding NPD difficult, how often can you re-hash the same ideas?"

Currently trialled in about 550 Bargain Booze stores in the off-licence sector and more than 100 Sainsbury convenience stores, Vodshake is available in three flavours, including chocolate, banana and strawberry.

Early sales data is "very encouraging", according to Burton, who is confident the newcomer will achieve further listings from the spring if performance data proves to be resilient. "I think the product is different enough in concept and will score high enough on the drinkability scale to attract interest from other retailers," he says.

"A perfect world would, of course, be 90%-plus distribution in the retail sector, but it is very early days and we are a long way from that."

Packaged in a 240ml bottle, Vodshake has an rsp of 99p.