Tim Palmer The company which dominates the premium packaged spirits market in the southern hemisphere has boldly vowed to do the same in the UK. New Zealand's Independent Distillers leads the sector in Australia and its own country and is now setting up business here, promising to become market leader. It is underlining its commitment by building its own production and bottling facilities which it says will be up and running by April at a cost of £9m, even though a site has yet to be finalised. Sales director Andrew Harvey has been brought from Australia to head the operation and is recruiting a sales team of 16. Initial stock has been shipped from Australia and went in front of major buyers before Christmas. Harvey said: "We are moving into the UK market with the idea that we are going to dominate it. We have done it before in other countries and we will do it again. "There is no brand here that will still be in the market in 10 years time and I don't expect Smirnoff Ice to last another four years. You have to bring innovative products to the market fast and be prepared to kill off the ones that don't work." The brands he is introducing will receive no advertising support but will have unlimited promotional backing related to case sales. "This is a blueprint which has proved to be a success for us," said Harvey. "I put no value in TV ads because you cannot tell if they have worked for you." The first products being introduced to the UK are Vodka Cruiser, a 5.5% abv PPS in six variants (Blueberry, Raspberry, Passionfruit, Cranberry, Melon, and Pineapple), Schotz, a clear 5.5% abv PPS with a test tube on the outside containing either raspberry or melon flavouring, and Mudslide, a 14% abv milk-based liqueur in chocolate, strawberry and banana. This will be sold in 70cl bottles retailing at £7. Harvey is also promising to introduce another product in the next two months which he says will be a totally new concept for this market. {{DRINKS }}