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Moët & Chandon’s pop-tastic new packaging is designed to appeal to the younger market.  Plus news on: Terrain; Spritzz Up; J20; Viru; Camus Elegance & Sheep Dip and Pig’s Nose !

Product name: Moët & Chandon
Contact details: Moët Hennessy UK, 0207 235 9411

With a heritage that goes back centuries, and as the first Champagne brand to decorate its bottle with a foil top and a cravat, Moët & Chandon’s redesigned packaging remains faithful to the brand while updating its luxurious image. The new packaging is a result of 18 months of research and design. The foil and cravat have been given more prominence, as have the crown and star emblems. The label, printed on textured papers, has been refined and is now simpler and more elegant. The new packaging has been designed with the brand’s relatively young target market in mind. Already available in the US, the new look will hit UK shelves at the end of September.

Product name: theberrycompany
Contact details: theberrycompany, 0208 902 9646
Last month saw the launch of five new berry soft drinks from theberrycompany. The range sees the addition of two new berries to the UK consumer’s repertoire of “super fruits”. Both the goji and acai berry contain antioxidants that help to boost the immune system. The range also includes blueberry, blackberry and raspberry. The company, launched this year, has worked in partnership with Heart Research UK, with 1p from every pack going to this organisation. The acai berry, grown only in Brazil, is said to be the “number one anti-ageing food”. The goji berry is found in China, Tibet and Mongolia, and apparently contains 500 times more vitamin C than oranges and more iron than a 6oz steak. The fruit juices, available in 330ml PET bottles (RRP £1.29) and 1-litre Tetra Paks (£1.99), are listed at Holland and Barrett, LA Fitness and Harvey Nichols.

Product name: Terrain
Contact details: HBJ Wines & Spirits, 020 7922 1610

With the intention of providing high-quality house wines to suit the UK on-trade, HBJ has launched a new range of wines under the Terrain label. This label is two years old, and originally consisted of a red and white wine, as well as a small number of varietal and dual-varietal wines. The new range, redesigned and repackaged, now consists of nine wines, focused on single varietals. The basic red and white, Malbec/Merlot and Colombard/Sauvignon blends respectively, have seen a significant increase in quality. The range is made from Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne, Vin de Pays d’Oc and Vin de Pays du Lot wines.

Product name: Spritzz Up
Contact details: Fior Brands, 01786 406360

Recognising the importance of diversifying its offering, Cinzano has launched Spritzz Up, a wine-based drink that does not easily fit into any drinks category. In Fruity White and Cheeky Red variations, the drink is designed to be mixed with lemonade or tonic. The aromatised wine product is targeted at the off-trade, with a 75cl bottle of the 14.5% abv drink selling for £5.99. Spritzz Up has already been listed in some UK outlets, most likely in the RTD section. The drink is being primarily marketed to women aged 18-30. Made from a blend of Italian wine, slightly fortified and mixed with herbs and spices, Spritzz Up’s marketing will consist of a competition, magazine and on-line advertising, as well as in-store sampling in August to demonstrate how to prepare the drink.

Product name: Sheep Dip and Pig’s Nose
Contact details: Malcolm Cowen Ltd, 020 8965 1937

The Spencerfield Spirit Company is set to revitalise two quirky whisky brands, Sheep Dip and Pig’s Nose. These are both premium brands that have significant, successful histories, but have lost prominence in recent times. Spencerfield has repackaged and reformulated these brands with a particular target audience in mind. Alex Nicol, Spencerfield’s MD, describes the whiskies as “small brands with big personalities for customers who are disdainful of stuffy, pompous and over-serious whiskies”. Sheep Dip, a blend of single malts with an rrp of £23, gets its name from the historical practice of hiding home-brewed whisky in sheep dip barrels to avoid paying excise duties. The expression “as soft as a pig’s nose” is where the blended Scotch takes its name from, with this flavour achieved by the addition of Speyside malts (rrp £17.99).

Product name: Camus Elegance
Contact details: Emporia Brands Ltd, 01483 458700
Camus Cognacs has launched a contemporary new range called Elegance. The range consists of completely new blends aimed at the UK and other Western markets. To suit these tastes, these Cognacs have undergone less new-barrel ageing. The packaging has also been specifically designed to emphasise the modern style of these Cognacs. The closure is particularly modern, doing away with cork, and apparently re-inventing the screwcap. “We have patented our own closure to make it look attractive and feel like an item of quality,” Cyril Camus explained at the launch. The closure also doubles as a 20ml measure. The range, all in 70cl bottles, consists of VS, VSOP, XO and Extra, with rrps ranging from £18.99 to £165. Also new from Camus is two single cru Cognacs that reflect the terroir and origins of the grapes, namely Ile de Ray (rrp £85) and Borderies (£95).

Product name: Viru

Contact details: Global Brands Ltd, 01246 868 900
Estonian beer Viru is due to be launched in the UK this month. Made in the A. Le Coq brewery in Tartu, this 5% abv beer is made from quality regional ingredients, including Lithuanian malted barley and water from artesian wells beneath the brewery. The striking 20cl octahedral bottle is derived from a 100 year-old Russian design, intended to be reminiscent of the medieval turrets of Estonia. The rich central and eastern European beer flavours are presented in a light pilsner style, and are being targeted by distributor Global Brands at upper-end style bars and restaurants.

Product name: J20
Contact details: Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd, 0845 7581781

J20 will now be available in PET bottles, further increasing the potential drinking occasions for the number-one on-trade packaged soft drink in the UK. The new packaging features the same proportions as the glass version, but contains 330ml instead of 275ml. The product is targeted at outdoor events, theatres, and other situations where glass packaging is not desirable. The PET bottles, initially available in the Apple & Mango and Orange & Passionfruit flavours, have a plastic screwcap and a six-month shelf life. The launch will be accompanied by extensive POS material such as posters, tentcards and chiller stickers.

Product name: Beer Lao
Contact details: Beer Lao UK, Alex Mervart, 07866 454 0
Beer Lao, from the Southeast Asian country of Laos, is being made available to the UK on-trade by Milestone Point. The company was set up after two entrepreneurs noticed the rising interest in cuisine from this part of Asia. The beer is made from German Hallertauer hops, French malted barley, locally grown rice, and water originating in the Himalayas. It also makes the claim of being the UK’s first carbon-neutrally shipped beer. Trees are planted for every container of Beer Lao that arrives on UK shores. Sales of the beer also contribute significantly to the economy in Laos – the brewery is apparently the biggest company in the country. Beer Lao is available in 330ml (rrp £18 for 24) and 640ml (rrp £18 for 12) bottles.

Product name: Pazo Barrantes

Contact details: MMD, Jackie Brown, 020 8812 3387
Bodegas Pazo de Barrantes has repackaged its distinctive-looking Albariño for the 2005 vintage, due in the UK early next year. Notable among the changes is the shorter bottle – several customers complained the original, unusually tall bottle wouldn’t fit in fridges – as well as the name, which has been shortened from Pazo de Barrantes to Pazo Barrantes. The 2005 vintage also marks what critics believe is a step up in quality. The Barrantes estate, in the Salnés Valley, just a few kilometres from the Galician coastline in northern Spain, is owned and managed by the same family who own Marqués de Murrieta in Rioja. It is rumoured that the owners may be considering a screwcap closure for future vintages of the Albariño.

Product name: Bowmore 16 Years Old & 37 Years Old
Contact details: Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd, 0141 630 4808
Production of limited-edition Bowmore 16 Years Old began in 1990. It is produced from 39 oloroso Sherry casks, and was matured in Bowmore’s vaults below sea level. Bottled at cask strength of 53.8% abv, it has an rrp of £49.99. The distillery launched a 1989 bourbon-matured whisky last year, and the two now clearly illustrate the influence of different cask types on this Islay single malt Scotch. Along with the 16 Years Old, the distillery has also launched Bowmore 37 Years Old. Only 708 bottles are available, aged in bourbon oak casks, and with an rrp of £595. These limited-edition releases are available at specialist whisky retailers.

Product name: Boschendal
Contact details: DGB UK, 020 8877 4960

Boschendal is further targeting the UK premium market with the launch of a new range of wines under its 1685 label. The name commemorates the year that the winery was established, and emphasises over 300 years of winemaking experience. The range consists of three varietals (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Shiraz), as well as two dual varietals. All wines in the range have an rrp of £7.99, and are available from a number of multiple grocers and specialists. The South African producer has been exporting to the UK since the 1990s, and was bought by DGB at the end of last year. Boschendal is distributed in the UK by Paragon Vintners.

© db August 2006

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