Product Launch of the Year Shortlist

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This year sees 64 products nominated across nine categories, ranging from confectionery to alcohol, soft drinks to grocery. Winners have been decided by you, the consumers, based on products that have performed the best in your store or have been popular with consumers over the past 12 months, or products that you have found the most innovative.

We will be revealing this year's winners at the Product Launch of the Year virtual ceremony taking place on Friday 22 January



Barefoot RTD 250ml wine cans - E&J Gallo
Wine brand Barefoot has rolled out two canned wines in white and rosé versions. Barefoot Pinot Grigio and White Zinfandel are both available in 250ml cans retailing at £2.50. The brand  says the cans contain the equivalent of one large glass of wine and are filled with the same product as the 750ml and 187ml glass bottle formats. POS featured the message “Your favourite Barefoot, now in a can!”

Echo Falls Summer Berries Pink Gin - Accolade Wines
Accolade Wines launched Echo Falls Summer Berries Pink Gin in response to the boom in the gin category. Echo Falls Pink Gin is available in 700ml bottles retailing at £16, and the launch was supported by a consumer campaign across digital and social media platforms. David White, marketing director at Accolade Wines, said: “With the gin market growing, it was a natural choice for us to develop a new product that combines the hugely popular Echo Falls signature flavour, summer berries, while simultaneously responding to the overwhelming popularity of gin in the UK.”

Gordon's Premium Pink Distilled Gin 350ml – Diageo
Gin brand Gordon’s launched a 350ml bottle for its Premium Pink Distilled Gin in September 2019. Brand owner Diageo says Gordon’s has contributed more than 20% of the total value growth in the gin category in the past year, which has led to its Pink Gin becoming the second-largest gin product by volume in the off-trade – beaten only by Gordon’s London Dry. At the time of the launch, the company said Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled Gin was selling 37% more volume each week than its nearest competitor, while the Gordon’s brand accounted for 44% of gin sales in the off-trade.

Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee – Mast-Jägermeister
Jägermeister has launched a Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee (33% ABV), which combines the “classic” Jägermeister recipe with cold-brewed arabica coffee. It is available in a 500ml bottle and retails at £18. The launch was supported by a £2.5m marketing campaign, including national advertising and across digital channels. Nicole Goodwin, marketing director at Mast-Jägermeister UK, said: “Jägermeister continues to be a key ingredient for 18- to 34-year-olds’ best nights out. With Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee, we stay true to our progressive nature, always looking to introduce new ways to help consumers discover and enjoy the brand.”

Malibu Strawberry Spritz - Pernod Ricard
Malibu has added a Strawberry Spritz variant to its portfolio in a move designed to tap into the “millennial pink” trend. Malibu Strawberry Spritz, a sparkling rum-based cocktail, is available in a 750ml bottle retailing at £9.50. Malibu is hoping the variant will “capture the imaginations” of 18- to 24-year-old consumers who have been at the forefront of the pink trend. The company says the increased demand for pink products has driven “double-digit growth” for the beer, wine and spirits category, with one in three shoppers who buy pink spirits not buying any other type of spirit.

Shake Baby Shake - Global Brands
Global Brands has launched a new canned cocktail brand called Shake Baby Shake. The 250ml cans are available in Passion Fruit Martini and Raspberry Mojito variants (both 4% ABV). Individual cans retail at £1.80, while there is also a four-pack that sells for £5. The company says cans remain the dominant format in the ready-to-drink category, holding 64% category volume and driving overall growth. The launch was supported on social media with the hashtag #shakeitup, as well as ‘influencer’ marketing on Instagram.

Smirnoff Infusions – Diageo
Smirnoff has added two new Smirnoff Infusions to its portfolio. The drinks are made with Smirnoff No 21 Vodka in two flavours – Orange, Grapefruit & Bitters and Raspberry, Rhubarb & Vanilla. They are available in 500ml bottles retailing at £14, with the launch being supported by a £4.4m marketing campaign that aimed to reach 97% of the UK’s drinking-age population. Sarah Shimmons, Smirnoff marketing manager, said: “Smirnoff Infusions looks to tap into the growing demand from consumers for great-tasting drinks with a real depth of flavour.”

Strongbow Dark Fruit 0.5% - Heineken UK
Heineken has launched Strongbow Dark Fruit 0.5% in a move designed to “capitalise on the growing consumer demand for low- or no-alcohol drinks”. The variant will be available from next month (March) and contains just 73 calories per bottle. Strongbow says the new addition features the same blend of fruit as its higher ABV variants, “promising the same great taste that consumers know and love”. Brand owner Heineken says the low- and no-alcohol beer and cider category is experiencing 24% growth. But cider is under-represented in the segment, with a share of 15.8%, compared with its 18.4% share in the alcoholic beer and cider market.

Strongbow Rosé Cider - Heineken UK
Strongbow cider has added a rosé variant to its portfolio, in a move designed to tap into the “trend for pink and rosé drinks”. Strongbow Rosé is available in a 500ml bottle (£1.50), a 4x440ml can pack (£5.25), and a 10x440ml can pack (£12). Rachel Holms, brand director for Strongbow at brand owner Heineken, said: “A recipe set for success combined with the new packaging design, our rosé cider will grow the category by appealing to a different shopper and is guaranteed to help retailers realise the full potential of their cider offering.”

Tanqueray Gin & Tonic - Diageo
Tanqueray has launched two ready-to-drink formats in a move designed to “meet consumer demand for recreating quality drinks and experiences in the comfort of their own home”. Tanqueray London Dry Gin & Tonic and Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Distilled Gin & Tonic (both 6.5% ABV) are available in 275ml single bottles retailing at £3 and 4x275ml packs at £10. Rich Larkin, head of Diageo Reserve GB, brand owner of Tanqueray, says the interest in flavoured gins is a trend that is continuing, adding that the introduction of the ready-to-drink formats will “offer further differentiation for shoppers looking to experiment”.

WKD RTD cocktail cans - Beverage Brands
WKD has launched two 440ml ready-to-drink cocktail cans. WKD Venom is a mix of WKD Blue, bourbon and orange flavour, while WKD Anti Venom is a mix of WKD Berry, peach schnapps and pineapple flavour. Both variants are 6.5% ABV and contain caffeine. They are available in £2.69 price-marked cans. The launch was supported in cash and carries, wholesalers and independent retailers, with marketing support including POS tools. WKD said the new launches were targeted at 18- to 24-year-olds and would help recreate the “on-trade experience for an off-trade audience”.


Rustlers Moroccan Vegetarian Burger – Kepak
Rustlers has added a vegetarian burger to its range in a bid to “meet the growing interest in meat-free products”. Rustlers Moroccan Vegetarian Burger (£2) is made with chickpeas, grated carrot and coriander, served with mango chutney and a yoghurt and mint sauce. The launch was supported by consumer PR, social media, shopper marketing and launch promotions. Brand owner Kepak says the variant has the potential to generate more than £2m in incremental sales. The core target for the product is 18- to 24-year-olds who are “more likely than the overall population” to follow ‘flexitarian’ diets.

Twix Milk Drink - Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats
Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats has added a Twix milk drink to its 350ml range. The variant is available in a £1.29 price-marked pack and joins the existing Mars, Galaxy, Mars Caramel, Milky Way, Bounty, Maltesers and Snickers flavours. Mars says flavoured milk is showing 13.4% year-on-year growth, with 11 million UK households buying into the category. Chocolate milk remains the most popular flavour, it adds, growing by 11.6% year on year and with a market share of 27%. The company recommends retailers site the range in the chiller, ready for consumers to drink on the move.

Wall’s Vegan Jumbo Roll - Addo Food Group
Sausage roll brand Wall’s Pastry has developed its first vegan Sausage roll, by introducing plant-based meat replacement Hooba to its sausage roll range. The Vegan Jumbo Roll is made with Hooba, oats and Wall’s Pastry’s seasoning mix, giving it “the distinctive taste of the brand’s popular sausage roll recipes”. The company says: “The Wall’s team of chefs has spent several years developing these recipes to emulate the nation’s beloved sausage roll experience. So the crisp pastry and peppery sausage meat is a treat which is no longer exclusive to meat eaters.”


Aero Bliss - Nestlé Confectionery
Nestlé has rolled out Aero Bliss, a box of individually wrapped Aero chocolate in three flavours, in a move intended to “respond to the growing trend for people looking for light, yet indulgent luxury products”. The product is available in Milk Chocolate and Salted Caramel variants, as well as a Mixed Selection that includes milk chocolate, salted caramel and praline flavours. It retails at £3.66 for a 144g box. Ellie Tyler, Aero brand manager at Nestlé UK, said: “Aero Bliss is perfect for sharing between friends and family and offers a lighter form of indulgence in comparison with other premium chocolate products.”

Bonds of London 'Pun Boxes' - Bonds of London
Bonds of London Pun Boxes are a brand new, “fun twist” on novelty gifting with four pun messages to choose from. They include: 'You're One in a Melon' featuring the top seller, Sour Watermelon Slices; 'You're Shrimply the Best - Foam Shrimps; 'Turtley Love You' with Jelly filled gummy turtles; and 'You Crack Me Up' featuring gummy fried eggs. They are available in mixed cases of 12 with an RRP of just £2 (non-price-marked).

Cadbury Twirl Orange - Mondelēz International
Cadbury launched a limited edition Orange variant for Twirl single bar and the company says that within a short amount of time it helped drive category growth in the adult singles market by 3.4%. The product was available in 43g bars in cases of 48 units each and was aimed at consumers “seeking new flavours and experiences from their chocolate choices”.

Galaxy Darker Milk - Mars Wrigley Confectionery
Mars Wrigley Confectionery launched two dark chocolate Galaxy products in April 2019. Galaxy Darker Milk and Galaxy Darker Milk with Roasted Hazelnuts are both available in 66p single bars and £1.39 large blocks. The launch was supported by a £1.5m campaign across social media and digital platforms, including a consumer competition. Mars says dark chocolate is the second-biggest flavour in the chocolate block category, but the bitter taste can polarise opinions. Two of the top five chocolate block products on the market contain hazelnuts, it adds.

Maynards Bassetts 30% Less Sugar Wine Gums - Mondelēz International
Maynards Bassetts has launched a 30% less sugar variant of its Wine Gums brand. The new sweets are available in a 130g bag retailing at £1.32 and are said to contain about 19g less sugar per 100g. Brand owner Mondelēz International says the market for lower-sugar sugar confectionery was worth £8.7m in 2018 and is growing by 56% year on year as more than one-third of consumers are actively cutting down their sugar consumption. Anna Ulrich, brand manager at Mondelēz International, said: “We know shoppers are going to love the new variant – our consumer testing showed 84% purchase intent.”

Skittles Fruits Dips - Mars Wrigley Confectionery
Mars Wrigley has launched a yogurt-coated Skittles variant, available in a 35g single bag, a £1 price-marked 95g bag, a 115g pouch and a 150g pouch. Alyona Fedorchenko, marketing director at Mars Wrigley, said: “By tapping into the growing trend for yogurt-coated treats, we want to provide a more-premium, indulgent experience for the consumer and give retailers another great opportunity to grow the category.” Mars says consumers seeking “convenient indulgence” are driving the trend for yogurt-coated snacks, which are predicted to grow sales by 6.5% between 2017 and 2022, providing a “great opportunity for retailers”.

Smarties Buttons - Nestlé Confectionery
Nestlé has launched Smarties Buttons, available in milk, white and orange-flavoured chocolate, all containing mini smarties. The milk chocolate variety is available in 32.5g and 90g packs, the white chocolate version in 30g and 85g packs and the orange flavour in 85g packs. Alberto Pisanello, brand manager for Smarties, said: “We know Smarties hold special memories for so many people and they are much loved for their bright colours, taste and texture. At the same time, consumers tell us they like their favourite brands to keep things fresh with exciting innovations and new varieties to try.”

Thorntons Classic - Ferrero
Thorntons significantly revamped its Classic Collection, giving the boxed chocolate range a “premium and contemporary” look with a new box profile and dimensions designed to stand out on shelf. Shoppers also now have a range of pack sizes to suit every gifting occasion, with three core pack sizes (150g, 262g, and 449g) offering “accessible prices to shoppers and a strong promotional pricing strategy for retailers”. The company said: “The new Classic Collection continues to champion Thorntons’ long heritage in crafting premium and high-quality chocolates, featuring the UK’s most loved flavours alongside three new flavours (Strawberries & Cream, Dark Butterscotch and Triple Chocolate).”

Vimto Juicy Mixups – Vimto
Vimto Juicy Mix Ups are a new twist on the classic gummy mix and are said to be “full of the original Vimto flavour”. In addition, they contain real fruit juice and are made with only natural colours. Each bag contains a mix of five bite-size shapes. This includes: a gummy fried egg, bottle, watermelon slice, friendship ring and a pencil. They are available in cases of 18 with a £1 RRP for 140g.

Crisps and Snacks

Doritos Stax - PepsiCo
Tortilla chip brand Doritos took its triangular snack in a new direction with the launch of Doritos Stax, marking the brand’s biggest-ever launch and its first foray into the canister snacks segment. Packaged in a recyclable triangular tube, the new take on the popular tortilla chip comes in three variants, which brand owner PepsiCo says has brought some “much-needed excitement to the canister snacks segment, giving shoppers the chance to try something a little less ordinary.”

Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Flapjack – Graze
Graze introduced the Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Flapjack to its growing range of products last year across the grocery, independent and convenience channels. The flapjack bites are said to offer at least 45% less sugar than the average cereal bar, thanks to their naturally sweet chicory root fibre recipe. “Packed with oats with an extra boost of protein, it makes for the perfect afternoon sweet treat without any artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives,” the company said.

McCoy’s Fiery Steak - KP Snacks
KP Snacks has added a Fiery Steak flavour to its McCoy’s crisp brand. The flavour is available in an 89p grab bag and £1 price-marked pack, as well in McCoy’s Strong & Spicy Variety multi-pack (£1.70). KP Snacks says flavour is the number one purchase-driver in the crisps and snacks category, with 49% of shoppers saying they would choose crisps or savoury snacks over a sugary option.

Millionaires Waffle - St Pierre
St Pierre extended its on-the-go’ range with the launch of the new individually-wrapped Millionaires Waffle. The new product aims to tap into two consumer trends – the growth of the food-to-go sector and the increasing popularity of indulgence foods. The St Pierre Millionaires Waffle is topped with caramel and is coated in Belgian chocolate, offering “an indulgent and satisfying treat”. Each individually wrapped 45g waffle is claimed to be perfect for eating ‘on-the-go’ or enjoying while relaxing at home. St Pierre says its on-the-go range is growing by 150% year on year, while sales of St Pierre Caramel Waffles alone increased by 32% year on year over the summer. Jeremy Gilboy, founder of St Pierre Groupe, said: “The new Millionaires Waffle adds a new dimension to the already popular St Pierre on-the-go range, which we have seen grow significantly since its launch in 2018. As a trailblazing brand, our creative team have developed a product that not only tastes delicious but taps into a number of consumer trends, while offering simple indulgence on-the-go.”

Walkers Best Ever Cheese & Onion - PepsiCo
Walkers launched its “best-ever” Cheese & Onion flavour with the biggest marketing campaign in the brand’s history that aimed to reach 98% of the UK. The crisp brand teamed up with the Spice Girls for a 90-second ad, “showing the lengths some people will go to avoid sharing their irresistible Walkers crisps—even rejecting the Spice Girls”. The company said the Cheese & Onion flavour had tested exceptionally well, with nine out of 10 consumers agreeing it is Walkers’ best ever. The new flavour is available across all formats, including single-serve (75p RRP) and 6x25g (£1.70 RRP).

Walkers Oven Baked with Veg - PepsiCo
Walkers extended its Oven Baked range with the addition of Oven Baked with Veg in a move designed to tap into the “growing popularity” of vegetable crisps. The wheat, potato and vegetable snacks are available in Beetroot & Sweet Chilli and Sweet Potato & Paprika flavours in 35g single bags retailing at 70p, 6x23g multi-packs (£1.80) and 140g sharing bags (£1.99). The launch was supported by a TV advert featuring the Spice Girls, as part of Walkers’ partnership with “British icons”. Walkers says the crisps contain 40% less fat than regular vegetable crisps.


Brew City range - McCain
Appetisers brand Brew City has launched into UK convenience stores, after being available in the USA for the last 20 years. The brand, which is owned by frozen food specialist McCain, offers products specifically designed to eat with beer. The range retails at £2.79 and includes Cheesy Brew Bites, IPA Last Order Fries, Onion Straws, Halloumi Fries, Man ‘N’ Jack Kegs, Pickle Bar Fries, Arancini Shots, Potato Pint Pots and Fiery Jalapeno Bottle Caps. The launch was supported by a £6m campaign running across TV, out-of-home, print and online, as well as sampling activity.

Cadbury Double Decker Ice Cream Tubs – Froneri
Ice-cream manufacturer Froneri has added a Cadbury Double Decker tub to its range. The variant is available in a 460ml pack retailing at £3. The company says sales of its Cadbury super-premium tubs are growing at 12%. Charlotte Hambling, head of UK marketing at Froneri, said: “The after-dinner occasion is really important to the ice-cream category. We are confident retailers can benefit from the opportunity to tap into the family market with our new additions to our range of super-premium tubs and sticks.”

Cornetto Mermaid - Unilever
Tapping into the trend for fantasy-inspired products, Cornetto Mermaid launched this year to bring a “touch of enchantment” to the ice-cream category. It features a pink cone filled with matcha and raspberry flavoured ice-cream, with packaging emulating a mermaid’s tail with a holographic varnish, making for “highly Instagrammable novelty cones”.

Magnum Ruby - Unilever
This year Magnum launched ‘Magnum Ruby’, said to be the world’s first ice-cream covered with ruby chocolate – a newly discovered fourth type of chocolate. A category first, brand owner Unilever said the launch “showcased the biggest innovation in the chocolate world since white chocolate was discovered 80 years ago”. It added: “Magnum Ruby offers pleasure-seekers the chance to try an exclusive taste experience with its naturally berry fruitiness and fresh tangy notes, free from artificial colours and fruit flavourings. The indulgent velvety white chocolate ice cream is enriched with a luscious raspberry sauce swirl and coated in Magnum’s signature cracking Ruby couverture chocolate.”


Baxters Super-licious Soup Pots - Baxters
Creating the ideal go-to lunchtime meal, Super-licious Soup Pots have been developed using quality ingredients and are packed with flavour. Available in 350ml pots, they can be easily microwaved, include one of your five a day and are 98% recyclable. Staying true to the brand, the range has been created by Baxters’ very own talented chef Darren Sivewright. Using the same high-quality ingredients and methods the Baxters brand is synonymous for, the chef has created a selection of flavours to appeal to everyone, including Thai Chicken and Coconut with Fiery Ginger, Creamy Tomato with Tomato Chunks, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato with Warming Spices Soup Pot and Minestrone and Smoked Bacon with Orzo Pasta.

Hellmann’s Big Night In range - Unilever
Hellmann’s has added a range of takeaway-style sauces to its portfolio in a move designed to tap into the ‘big night in’ trend. The range features Pizza (Chilli Garlic Sauce), Chicken (Chilli BBQ Sauce), Mexican (Spicy Sauce) and Kebab (Tzatziki Sauce) in 215ml bottles retailing at £1.89. Andre Burger, vice president of foods at brand owner Unilever, said: “The takeaway delivery market is now worth an estimated £4.2bn. The new range is set to tap into this growing opportunity.”

Knorr Veggie Stock Pots - Unilever
To appeal to the growing number of consumers adopting flexitarian diets, Knorr has launched a brand new vegan range of veggie stock pots. Said to be perfect for shoppers looking to create meat-free meals from scratch that don’t compromise on flavour, the range features three variants based on some of the nation’s favourite dishes, including the Thai-inspired Kaffir Lime and Ginger SKU.

Maltesers Biscuits - Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats
Mars Chocolate Drinks &Treats has launched Maltesers Biscuits. The biscuits consist of three “malty bobbles” covered in milk chocolate to “create a unique snap-and-crunch eating sensation”. They are available in 100g packs retailing at £1.49. Michelle Frost, general manager at Mars Chocolate Drinks &Treats, said: “We believe a combination of the innovative format, unique malty taste and the popularity of the brand will drive new consumers to the category in addition to providing something new and exciting for regular biscuit fans.”

Maryland Chocolate Cookie Bars - Burton’s Biscuit Company
Burton’s Biscuit Company has expanded its portfolio with the addition of Maryland Chocolate Cookie Bars. The bars are available in 8x19g packs, individually wrapped and retailing at £1.39. They form part of Maryland’s “less than 100 calories” range, including Maryland Oaty Cookie Bars. Kate Needham, Burton’s Biscuit Company’s marketing director, said: “Maryland Chocolate Cookie Bars combine great-tasting chocolate and cookie indulgence with an individually wrapped portion pack at just 97 calories per bar – a compelling proposition for the growing number of consumers who want to treat themselves but are also mindful of calorie control.”

Maryland Oaty Cookie Bars - Burton’s Biscuit Company 
Burton’s Biscuit Company has added Maryland Oaty Cookie Bars to its portfolio in a move designed to offer consumers more choice within its “less than 100 calories” biscuits range. Each pack contains six individually wrapped bars, containing 94 calories and retailing at £1.39. Kate Needham, marketing director at Burton’s Biscuit Company, said: “As consumer demand for more-permissible options shows no signs of abating, Maryland Oaty Cookie Bars reinforce our commitment to leading the way in portion control, offering the strongest ‘less than 100 calories per serve’ range in the biscuits category.”

McVitie’s Digestives Twists – Pladis
Pladis has added McVitie’s Digestive Twists to its portfolio in a move designed to “drive excitement and incremental sales among younger shoppers”. McVitie’s Digestive Chocolate Chip & Caramel and Chocolate Chip & Coconut are available in 276g packs retailing at £1.25. Brand research is said to have shown the new variants have a strong appeal among younger consumers, with 80% of 18- to 34-year-olds “praising the exciting flavour combinations”. The research also found younger consumers are “showing a real interest in everyday flavoured biscuits”, with under-45s making up 46% of shoppers buying these products.

Old El Paso Tortilla Bowls - General Mills
Old El Paso has launched Tortilla Bowls – bowl-shaped tortilla chips available in a single Sea Salt variant in a 150g pack. The new product retails at £1.65. Old El Paso says the variant is ideal for “scooping and dipping” a range of side dishes, such as guacamole and salsa. It says Tortilla Bowls are “perfect for a big night in with family or friends, as well as an extra shareable side at a Mexican dinner”. Mexican is a key growth-driver for the world food category, the company says, with busy young families and millennials “increasingly looking for a fun, yet easy-to-prepare meal solution”.

Pot Noodle Asian Street Style range – Unilever
Unilever has launched a range of street-style rice noodle pots under its Pot Noodle brand. The Asian Street Style selection includes four flavours: Thai Red Curry, Malaysian Laksa, Japanese Miso Noodle Soup and Vietnamese Beef Pho. Each pot contains fewer than 250 calories in order to appeal to health-conscious shoppers, and the packaging is said to be fully recyclable. Unilever says the new range is “designed to stand out in its own right” against the main Pot Noodle range and is hoping the new flavours will draw a new demographic of shoppers to the instant noodle category.

Quaker Porridge To Go Honey & Almond – PepsiCo
Quaker Porridge to Go is said to have been hugely successful within the cereals category, with a growth of 74% in 2019 versus 2018, and to continue the momentum the brand is launching a new flavour and multipack format. This February Quaker Porridge to Go launched a brand new flavour - Almond & Honey – marking the first variant with a nutty inclusion. The Quaker Porridge to Go bars contain 100% wholegrain oats and provides the same amount of wholegrain as a bowl of Oat So Simple porridge. They offer “the perfect breakfast option for those with busy mornings”.

Soft Drinks

Boost Iced Coffee RTD cans - Boost Drinks
Boost has launched two Iced Coffee variants following research that “highlighted the growing demand for ready-to-drink coffee in the independent and convenience channel”. Boost Iced Coffee Caffe Latte and Boost Iced Coffee Double Espresso are available in £1 price-marked 250ml cans. The launch was supported by trade and consumer PR, print advertising, sampling and POS tools. Boost says out-of-home hot and cold coffee sales are up 54% in the last year, while chilled ready-to-drink coffee is the fastest-growing functional drinks category with growth of 27%. The company says 66% of 18- to 24-year old coffee drinkers see chilled coffee as a good alternative to sugary drinks.

Costa Coffee - Coca-Cola European Partners
Costa Coffee RTD brings consumers the taste of Costa Coffee in a can for the first time. The range includes Classic Latte, Caramel Latte and Black Americano. The launch was supported by a £1m marketing campaign including out-of-home, PR, digital, trade advertising and in-store activity. The company says the range has been a hit with consumers and has rapidly grown in value to be worth nearly £5m. “The chilled, canned format of Costa Coffee RTD delivers an authentic coffee experience with a caffeine hit and is sold in 250ml cans that are 100% recyclable,” the company says.

Fanta Zero Raspberry - Coca-Cola European Partners
Fanta Zero Raspberry is the latest addition to the Fanta Zero range, which is now worth £67m and growing by 16%. It is made with natural flavours, is Soft Drinks Tax-exempt and comes in a 330ml can (plus eight-can multipack), and 500ml and two-litre recyclable bottles. The flavour was chosen following consumer demand, the company says, with raspberry-flavoured products in 11% volume growth.

Irn-Bru Energy - AG Barr Soft Drinks
Barr Soft Drinks launched its Irn-Bru Energy drink nationwide in November 2019, following an initial launch in Scotland last July. The cans combine the flavour of Irn-Bru with taurine, caffeine and B vitamins, in full-sugar and no sugar variants. Price-marked packs are available at 99p and 80p respectively. The launch was supported by an out-of-home and social media campaign. Barr said the variant was last year’s fastest-selling soft drink in the convenience sector, with 70% of those who tried the product buying it more than once and 80% saying they would buy it again.

L'mon range - Danone Waters
Volvic added a range of sparkling fruit juice drinks to its portfolio in June last year. The L’mon range is available in Lemon & Orange, Lemon & Lime and Lemon & Grapefruit flavours, in 330ml recyclable cans retailing at 99p. The brand says the drinks combine at least 25% real fruit juice with spring water, tapping into the “ever-growing consumer health trend”. The launch was supported by a £1.5m marketing campaign featuring nationwide advertising, social media influencer activity and sampling campaigns.

Lucozade Energy Watermelon & Strawberry Cooler - Lucozade Ribena Suntory
Lucozade Energy launched a brand-new flavour: Watermelon & Strawberry Cooler. The innovation launched in one-lire, 500ml and 380ml price-marked packs. The flavour was said to be inspired by refreshing and summery iced fruit coolers, making it ideal for the start of the summer season and beyond.

Reign Total Body Fuel - Coca-Cola European Partners
Reign Total Body Fuel is a new drinks range designed to fuel performance during workouts and strength training thanks to the inclusion of ingredients such as BCAAs, L-Arginine and natural caffeine. The performance drinks segment is said to be worth more than $400m in the US and is growing by 41%, highlighting the untapped potential here in Great Britain. “The range is tapping into a new drinking occasion in comparison to traditional energy drinks and is already worth 10 times more than nearest like-for-like competitor here in GB,” the company said.

Tropicana Energise - PepsiCo
Tropicana introduced a new flavour to its Essentials line-up. “Energise offers shoppers a new delicious option, meeting the continued consumer demand for a juice with health and wellness benefits,” the company said. “A tropical flavour with key ingredients being Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Banana and Ginseng, new flavour Energise contains added magnesium to help fight tiredness, one of the main health and wellness benefits that shoppers are looking for. The release of Energise was part of a wider invigoration of the Essentials line-up. Exciting, modernised artwork was also introduced to attract younger shoppers to functional juices.”

Vimto Remix Orange, Strawberry & Lime flavour - Vimto Soft Drinks
Vimto expanded its Vimto Remix range with a new Orange, Strawberry and Lime flavour. The company said: “Set to be the soft drink of summer 2020, the refreshing, citrus-based newcomer is crafted from a mix of fruits and the top-secret Vimto blend of herbs and spices. The new variant also contains no added sugar and is available in RTD, squash and carbonated formats.” The launch of Vimto Remix Orange, Strawberry and Lime was supported by retailer and consumer promotions in the convenience channel, in addition to activations in depots to drive awareness.

Vita Coco Sparkling drinks range - Vita Coco
Coconut water brand Vita Coco launched Vita Coco Sparkling in the UK in September 2019, following what the company says was a successful launch in the USA. The 330ml cans are available in Lemon & Lime and Pineapple & Passionfruit flavours, retailing at £1.69. Vita Coco says 48% of consumers are now actively choosing low-sugar or no-added-sugar soft drinks. Managing director Tim Rees said: “We have seen retail sales of carbonated water grow by 88% in the last six years and consumers are now actively looking to reduce their consumption of sugar.”


3-in-1 Holborn Yellow pouch - JTI UK
In 2020, JTI announced the launch of a new 3-in-1 rolling tobacco variant into the Holborn Yellow and brand family. For the first time, the pouch will include tobacco, papers and now filters. With 30g of tobacco, 100 papers, and 77 filter tips included in each pouch, the new Holborn Yellow 3-in-1 variant aims to provide “existing adult smokers with the complete kit for a convenient, fuss-free experience”. JTI said: “The new product will also allow retailers to tap into the growing popularity of value rolling tobacco, which currently holds a 45.4% share of the UK’s RYO category. At the same £11.70 RRP as the 2-in-1 version, Holborn Yellow 3-in-1 is great value for money, offering existing adult smokers more for the same price.”

IQOS Menthol Kit - Philip Morris International
In March 2020, Philip Morris Limited (PML) offered independent retailers the opportunity to stock IQOS for the first time through the IQOS Menthol Kit – a new menthol heated tobacco product unaffected by the menthol cigarette ban. The kit contains one IQOS 2.4+ device and two packs of menthol tobacco sticks known as Heets. PML said: “Neither a vape, nor a cigarette, IQOS uses state of the art technology and pioneering science to heat tobacco to 350°. By using real tobacco instead of liquid, IQOS delivers a more familiar and satisfying experience, with no smoke, no ash and less smell.”

Riverstone combi pouch - Imperial Tobacco
Imperial Tobacco has launched an “industry first” combi-pouch for its Riverstone roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco brand. The Riverstone combi-pouch retails at £11 and includes 30g of easy-to-roll tobacco, 60 papers and the same number of filters and is said to be the first combi-format available in the UK. The company says the pouch “provides everything smokers need to roll the perfect cigarette”. Imperial launched Riverstone RYO in October 2018, describing it as “a high-quality, easy-to-roll blend of tobacco at an affordable price, designed to appeal to new smokers as well as dualists”.

Rizla Flavour Infusion Cards - Imperial Tobacco 
Imperial Tobacco has launched Rizla Flavour Infusions cards in a move designed to “offer menthol shoppers a fresh new proposition that will allow them to discover great flavours and help retailers protect their sales ahead of the menthol ban”. The cards turn factory-made or roll-your-own products into menthol cigarettes after 60 minutes, or longer for a stronger flavour. The range includes two variants – Menthol Chill, which “provides a stronger, more-intense flavour”, and Fresh Mint which is “slightly smoother and more mellow”. Both are packed and wrapped separately so they can be sold individually.

Sterling Dual Capsule Leaf Wrapped Cigarillos - JTI UK
This year, JTI announced the launch of Sterling Dual Capsule Leaf Wrapped – an alternative for smokers after the menthol ban. Unlike conventional cigarettes, cigarillos are wrapped in tobacco leaf or tobacco-based paper and are exempt from both plain pack and menthol ban legislation. JTI said: “As such, the launch provides retailers with an alternative option that meets the continued demand from existing menthol and capsule smokers. Sterling Dual Capsule Leaf Wrapped has a mentholated capsule in the filter, which existing adult smokers can click to release a peppermint flavour. The cigarillos join the successful Sterling Dual family, which has a sector share of over 40%. Sterling Dual Capsule Leaf Wrapped also allows retailers to tap into the current value trend, with an affordable RRP of £4.50 and 10 pack size.”

Swan Menthol/Capsule Filters - Republic Technologies
Republic Technologies UK has added six new products to its Swan filters range in a bid to offer consumers more choice ahead of the menthol ban in May. The range consists of Swan Cool Menthol Filters (£1.09), Swan Cool Burst Crushball Filters (£1.29), Swan Fresh Burst Crushball Filters (£1.29), Swan Graphite Filters (£1.14), Swan Long Extra Slim Filters (£1.03) and Swan Eco Loose Filters (£1.39). Gavin Anderson, general sales manager at Republic Technologies, said: “As increasing numbers of smokers are turning to roll-your-own, we are developing a wider range of products for improved customer choice.”

Vaping and smoking alternatives

Juulpods 18mg/ml - Juul Labs UK
Juul Labs launched its new technology Juulpods in June 2019, providing a “more satisfying vapour experience for adult smokers”. The new 18mg/ml Juulpod contains the same amount of nicotine as previous Juulpods, while offering 2greater consistency puff-to-puff” and has the potential to deliver more nicotine per puff and more vapour depending on usage patterns. The 18mg/ml Juulpods are available in Golden Tobacco, Glacier Mint, Mango Nectar, Alpine Berry and Menthol with an RRP of £10.99 for a pack of four pods and their introduction is said to have seen Juul become the number one closed system brand in symbols and independents.

Logic Compact - JTI UK
Following its introduction into the grocery channel in 2018, Logic significantly expanded distribution of its Logic Compact range last year across the independent and wholesale channels. Logic Compact is a premium Pod device designed to offer a “stylish, convenient and modern alternative to traditional vaping products”. The company said: “Delivering the perfect combination of flavour, power and simplicity, its user-friendly, contemporary design allows retailers to capitalise on the popularity of pod vaping devices.” The Compact range also includes magnetic refill pods, available in five flavours They come pre-filled in a choice of tobacco (18mg), menthol (18mg), berry mint (12mg), strawberry (12mg) or cherry (12mg) flavours.

Logic Epiq range - JTI UK
JTI launched a value e-liquid range for its Logic vaping brand in April 2019. The Epiq range retails at £2.50 and is available in two different strengths in Berry Blast, Dark Cherry, Frosted Pear, Garden Strawberry, Golden Tobacco, Mint Chill, Wild Blueberry and Vanilla Spice flavours. The range is also available in price-marked packs. JTI says more than half of e-liquid sales in the independent and symbol channel sell for less than £3.

Nordic Spirit - JTI UK
Last year, JTI introduced its range of tobacco-free nicotine pouches, Nordic Spirit , to all channels including independent and convenience retailers and wholesalers. To date, Nordic Spirit is said to be the leading nicotine pouch brand in the UK, with an 88.3% market share. Nordic Spirit is available to purchase in two flavours (Mint and Bergamot Wildberry) and two strengths (6mg and 9mg). For one can of 20 tobacco-free pouches the RRP is £6.50. The company said: “Nordic Spirit presents a huge profit opportunity for retailers as the demand for alternative nicotine products continues to grow. Originally developed in Sweden, where it has rapidly grown in popularity since its launch in 2018, the 100% tobacco-free nicotine pouches offer existing adult smokers and vapers more choice. Whether on a long-haul flight, in the office or just hanging out with friends, this smoke, vape and odour-free offering can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere.” 

Sales Team of the Year 

Click on each Sales Team below to take a look at their entry submission. 

Bobby’s Foods

Lucozade Ribena Suntory

Mondelēz International