The Vladivar Cocktail range will hit shelves in April and is designed to succeed Veba, the vodka brand’s earlier foray into the category.
Developed with Independent Distillers, the four-strong range features Seabreeze, a mix of vodka, cranberry and grapefruit, Cosmopolitan, which contains vodka, orange liqueur and lemon, and Vladivar Black and White Russians - both versions of the classic coffee and cream-based drinks.
Glen Gribbon, brands director at Whyte and Mackay, said: “Veba performs well enough to keep it in the portfolio but it’s not a priority. In the past we have made the mistake of looking at too many new products. We are looking at the premixed concept rather than just launching a new RTD flavour.”
Although the final bottle design is still being decided, all four versions will be in the standard 275ml format.
One spirits buyer at a leading multiple said: “They are something a bit different and are moving away from the usual lemon and orange flavours. Vladivar needs to go back to the 18 to 24-year-old market and target new consumers, which is what Smirnoff Ice has done.”
The innovation reflects an emerging trend in the RTD sector for cocktail-style products. The Grocer revealed two weeks ago that Bacardi-Martini was working on a top secret cocktail premix.