In a bid to encourage customers to try new drinks Waitrose is launching a dedicated in-store magazine.

The 24-page free magazine, entitled Thirst, will be distributed monthly across all 183 Waitrose branches. It is being produced by the same team as Waitrose Food Illustrated.

The magazine will feature product news and trends, profiles of producers and countries of origin as well as interviews with high-profile trade personalities. There will also be recipe ideas and information on pairing drinks with food.

"Customer research found there was a need for more information about BWS products. In-store magazines are an effective marketing tool because they allow us to showcase our range of products and our key points of difference, as well as provide inspiration for customers," said Wait­rose buyer Justin Howard Sneyd.

"It is targeted at customers we have identified as connoisseurs and also those who are not. It will have a similar tone and feel to other magazines in the Waitrose portfolio, such as Food Illustrated and Seasons," Sneyd explained.

The magazine will support Waitrose Direct, the supermarket's online and mail order service. It will feature pages dedicated to promoting the special drinks offers available through the service.

Each issue of the title, which has a distribution of 200,000 copies, will be themed. The launch issue focuses on France in order to support the French Wine Showcase the supermarket is running though April. The second issue will concentrate on cider and the June issue will feature sparkling wines.

Supermarket customer magazines have some of the highest circulation figures in the publishing industry. Asda had the second highest circulation of the top 100 magazines last year according to ABC figures. Tesco came in third place and Sainsbury's Fresh Ideas was fifth.

"This is an exciting new way for us to engage with consumers. With so many products on offer this is an opportunity to inspire people to try something different," Sneyd said.

The first issue of Thirst will hit stores this week.