Diageo, the UK’s biggest drinks company, is to launch a raft of NPD across most of its major brands – including Guinness, Smirnoff and Pimm’s – ahead of the summer, all backed with “substantial” marketing spends.
The new products include: Guinness Golden Ale, a 4.5% ABV premium ale in 500ml bottles; Captain Morgan White Rum; and Pimm’s Cider Cup, a 4% ABV cider flavoured with Pimm’s.Also joining them will be a pineapple variant of the super-premium vodka Circoc (which has already proved a smash hit in the US); and Smirnoff Double Black, a new 4.7% RTD of soda, Smirnoff and guarana (available in 250ml cans and 275ml bottles).
Finally, Diageo is building on its success in the relatively new “frozen pouches” sector (already worth £14m at RSV, according to Nielsen) with the launch of Pimm’s Summer Crush (Pimm’s with strawberry and cucumber) and Gordon’s Frozen Cooler (Gordon’s gin with elderflower and apple).
Guiness Golden Ale alone will be supported with a £4.5m marketing spend and Diageo says it will be spending “a seven figure sum’ on Captain Morgan, and £1m each on Smirnoff, Pimm’s and Gordon’s. Smirnoff Ice Double Black is being promoted via a tie-in with music promoter Live Nation, and extensive sampling at festivals and other events.
Andrew Cowan, UK Managing Director of Diageo, said: “We are launching innovations on brands that have a cumulative heritage of over 650 years. We own an amazing portfolio of brands and we recognise that innovation needs to be at the heart of our commercial strategy, and at Diageo we want to grow our business by getting people to drink better, rather than more. Today nearly 13% of our business comes directly from innovation. My goal is that in the next five years innovation will account for twenty percent of our business.”
Louise Robinson, head of GB Innovation, added: “As the industry leader with a portfolio of household name alcohol brands, we have a duty to continually re-invent, refresh and excite consumers. With the new innovations we’re launching today, it will be difficult to find a BBQ, picnic, garden party, festival or wedding this summer without one of our brands there helping adults to celebrate.”