Back to the future: Diageo looks to the past to innovate

By Wenlei Ma | 12 August 2013

Diageo has focused on the pre-mix drinks market with a slew of new product innovations designed to grow the category.

Diageo is looking to tap into a trend of 'retro flavours' with its latest offering, according to marketing director Matt Bruhn. He said: “We have to stop and reframe the market. This is a non-incremental approach to premix and it's inventive. It's a rethink of what pre-mix is and the series of products have their own personalities."

With a different take on traditional 'Bundy and Coke' model, one of the pre-mix drinks on offer is Bundaberg Rum Brewed & Crafted which will launch nationally after a Queensland trial. The drinks are a mix of Bundaberg Rum with either brewed apple ale, sarsparilla, passionfruit ale, creaming soda or ginger beer.

It will also introduce Bulleit Batches and J&B Mash-up.

Bruhn said in a statement: “As the country's largest RTD producer, we're investing in innovation and paving the way for the future of the category. These pioneering new beverages will offer the consumers not only convenience, but also the authentic drink they're currently seeking for at home or in venue experiences and we're looking forward to seeing the response to them.”

The pre-mix, also known as ready-to-drink or alcopops, market had come under pressure in recent years as governments stepped up the tax rate on the category in an effort to combat binge drinking in youth. The first couple of years after the tax changes in 2008, saw the demand fall 30%.

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