Ready to drink is ready for growth

The new Watermelon flavour for VK will be introduced after a consumer competition

ALTHOUGH the value of RTDs in Scotland’s bars and pubs fell between 2017 and 2018, according to CGA, annual sales are still worth more than £27 million.

And there’s been no shortage of activity in the market this year.

The firm behind WKD, the Scottish trade’s biggest-selling RTD brand, worked hard at retaining its top spot with marketing campaigns around major occasions such as summer, the new university term and Halloween.

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There were also various new products in the course of the year, including new flavour WKD Mango Crush and a new range of canned cocktails, WKD Mixed.

Amanda Grabham of parent company SHS Drinks said the new pre-mixed cocktails were “all about fusing together the fun aspects of WKD with the convenience of cans to create great-tasting cocktails”.

Crabbie’s, the second-biggest brand in the category, began the year with the expansion of its ‘Crafty Ginger’ range of beer/RTD hybrids through the addition of Crabbie’s Stout, while third-place brand VK called on its customer base to decide on its latest flavour.

A competition for the RTD, which is owned by Global Brands, asked consumers to suggest a new flavour for the range, with the top four flavours – Watermelon, Raspberry and Pineapple, Violet and Wild Fruits – going head to head in a public vote.

Watermelon was the winner and will be joining the VK range from February 2019.

Elsewhere, another Global Brands RTD, Hooch, has just received a makeover with a new limited edition bottle design.

The new packaging, unveiled this month and which features a ‘lemon-print’ sleeve, was introduced following consumer research by the company.