Pimm’s Blackberry & Elderflower is a vodka-based alternative to the core Pimm’s No 1 brand, which is made with gin.
The variant is designed to capture the trend for traditional British flavours and also to “weatherproof ” the brand, which has become synonymous with the summer, with 78% of sales happening in the 16 weeks between April and the end of August, according to Nielsen.
The launch will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign, which includes a digital and print advertising push, POS and Facebook activity designed to target 250,000 users.
As well as 70cl and 1-litre bottles, it will come in premixed cans, blended with lemonade.
Sarah Gilligan, Pimm’s brand manager at Diageo, said: “Pimm’s is the perfect sharing drink and is considered an integral part of the great British summertime, which explains why it makes up 20% of the speciality drinks category.
“In a summer lacking in big national events, our new Blackberry & Elderflower innovation provides the perfect opportunity for retailers to maximise their spirits sales and capitalise on the summer occasion. The launch also allows retailers to tap into the potential sales opportunities of the speciality drinks category, which traditionally grows its share of the spirits category during the summer.
“To give the new bottle extra stand-out, we have commissioned British designer Oliver McAinsh to design an illustration for the label, which is inspired by a British summer hedgerow.”
Diageo said that, although the launch was a limited edition, it hoped it would become a permanent SKU in the range and, while it didn’t have other additions in the pipeline, it would evaluate the drink’s success with a view to introducing more new flavours.