AG Barr claims to have “reinvented water” with its new Rubicon Spring brand, which will be sold in to the trade from the end of this month.
Available in four variants – Lemon Lime, Strawberry Kiwi, Orange Mango and Black Cherry Raspberry – Rubicon Spring combines sparkling spring water with 4-5% fruit juice and has no added sugar. It also contains vitamins and green tea extract and is made with natural flavours and colours. There are 15 calories or less per 500ml bottle.
What makes Rubicon Spring different from other flavoured water products, says head of marketing Adrian Troy, are the “big, strong flavours”. He explains: “We are giving consumers something surprising – we are showing them that waters can be big and bright and bold and full of colour and taste. Rubicon Spring offers the best components of fizzy drinks and water while addressing some of the health concerns of consumers.”
Troy continues: “We undertook our biggest ever research programme, which highlighted an 18% growth in the number of carbonates shoppers who are also buying water and a 19% rise in the number who only buy water (Kantar). Many of these consumers are primarily looking to reduce their sugar and calorie intake.”
The product, which comes in cases of 12, has an rsp of £1.20 per bottle. Troy says that AG Barr wants to establish the brand first before considering price-marked packs. Similarly, although the company has no plans at present to introduce take-home bottles, Troy has an open mind about how the brand is developed in the longer term.
A £2 million marketing campaign is backing the launch. This includes national TV advertising starting in August, social media activity and outdoor adverts, which will be activated when the sun shines. PoS material is available to cash & carries and their customers, and there will be specific activity for C&Cs and delivered wholesalers on an account-by-account basis.
“Cash & carry/delivered wholesale is the bulk of our business, particularly for a brand like Rubicon, which was pretty much born in that sector of the market,” says Troy. “The support of the trade is critical to us and the response to the launch has been really good. Our wholesale customers recognise the size and scale of the opportunity.”
In a separate development, AG Barr has launched Barr Mix Ups. A total of 10,000 consumers took part in an online poll for their favourite of 15 Barr flavours, with ‘Raspberry Ripple’ and ‘Cherry Bubble’ voted the winners. The two flavours are available in 330ml cans, price-marked at 39p, and 500ml PETs, with a 69p flash. Both variants are sugar-free.
Tel: AG Barr (01204) 664295Published Date: June 18, 2016