The sparkling Schnapps-based RTD, which comes in flavours of wildberry, tropical and apple, and has a low-sugar content, follows the launch of Bacardi Half Sugar earlier this month.
Archers Vea is aimed at 21 to 30-year-old females.
“We know from our research that this group is looking for an RTD that is less sweet than other fruit-flavoured RTDs currently in the marketplace,” said Jane Sutcliffe, marketing manager for Archers.
Vea will sit alongside Archers Aqua, the RTD brand worth £20.5m that holds the number
five position in the UK [ACNielsen MAT to March 2005].
But although sales for Aqua dropped 17% in the year to March 2005 [ACNielsen], Diageo is confident that the RTD category still has life in it yet.
“We are going to continue to invest in the RTD category. It needs innovation and it needs to be invigorated,” said Sutcliffe. The company has invested in extensive research to find out what motivates consumers, and this included a look at the category in South Africa and Australia.
“Australia is the most mature RTD category and it is probably about 15 years ahead of us, so it’s useful to see what works there,” said Sutcliffe.
Vea will be available in single 275ml bottles and in four packs from the end of May, with 70cl bottles will follow later.
The launch will be supported by a £4m marketing spend, including a TV and poster campaign.
Sampling will also take place across the off-trade to drive awareness.