SHS Drinks Announces Spring Launch of WKD Dark Fruits Variant

Applying a WKD twist to a trend which has had something of a transformational effect on modern drinking, brand owner SHS Drinks is to launch WKD Dark Fruit.

Available in early spring, this permanent addition to the WKD range harnesses the power of the easily understood ‘dark fruit’ concept and delivers it to an RTD audience. The new variant will build on what was a successful 2019 for the WKD brand, with the on-trade volume growth rate building throughout the year and reaching double-digit levels1.

Aligned to existing brand variants in terms of ABV, pricing, and bottle size (i.e. 4% ABV, 275ml), WKD Dark Fruit will generate further momentum for the UK’s No.1 RTD2, growing the category and building incremental sales for licensees.

Rolling out across all trade channels, WKD Dark Fruit will be supported by a comprehensive, brand-wide package comprising in-venue media, back-bar displays, POS kits, social media engagement and digital advertising. All facets will embrace suitably WKD tongue-in-cheek messaging.

WKD Dark Fruit launches hot on the heels of last year’s hugely successful NPD initiative: WKD Pink. Despite only being launched in July, WKD Pink had a dramatic impact, quickly reaching almost half the current monthly sales of the much-loved original brand variant, WKD Iron Brew3, and on-trade average rate of sale levels higher than all other WKD flavours4. WKD Pink was a bold step delivering a unique take on the biggest trend in the alcohol category and has generated real cut-through with consumers.

WKD Pink combines all the flavour and intrigue of gin with all the simple approachability of WKD. The spirit-inspired product has everything consumers expect from WKD: fun, personality and accessibility, and truly contemporises the brand, providing a vibrancy and freshness which cause consumers to reassess the No.1 RTD2 and, more importantly, the RTD category as a whole.

“WKD Dark Fruit this year – as WKD Pink did last - will deliver reappraisal of the complete brand and have a hugely positive halo effect on all WKD variants,” says Nick White, head of alcohol brand marketing at SHS Drinks. “With both variants, we’ve taken hugely popular themes and applied a clever WKD twist.

“The launch of Dark Fruit will ensure that WKD remains fresh and relevant to its core 18-24 year-old target market and continues to generate strong sales growth for on-trade stockists. This innovative flavour RTD will deliver something genuinely new and truly exciting for the entire category,” concludes White.

1Source: CGA On-trade RTD category volume (L) growth 12 weeks to 05.10.19 vs 12 weeks to 06.10.18 2Source: Total UK RTD category combined value (£): CGA On-trade MAT to 05.10.19 and Nielsen Scantrack Take Home MAT to 28.12.19

3Source: CGA On-trade RTD category volume (L) 4 weeks to 05.10.19

4Source: CGA On-trade RTD category average volume (L) and value (£) ROS 12 weeks to 05.10.19

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