As Northern Ireland’s love affair with flavoured alcoholic beverages looks set to continue, the category prepares for an injection of excitement as US-leading brand Four Loko launches here next month.
Created over a decade ago by two college graduates, Four Loko has established itself as the leading Ready To Drink (RTD) brand in the US, with its broad flavour range and successful marketing drive to create ‘Epic Stories’ for millennials and Gen Z consumers across the United States.
Taking the number one and two spots in value sales in the US market for the past five years*, the brand will launch four 8.5% ABV vodka spirit-based flavours.
Each flavour brings its own unique twist to the table. To fill the night with epic memories and keep it blue, Four Loko Blue is bursting with a delicious berry blast flavour with a hint for fresh meadow dew. To satisfy a sweet tooth, the Four Loko Gold gives a delicious, sweet hit which tastes like sweet fruits and tutti fruity combined. On the hunt for an unforgettable night and feeling bold? Four Loko Fruit Punch blends together everyone’s favourite fruit flavours in one incredibly delicious drink. Finally, for a sweet and subtle sour flavour, Four Loko Sour Apple is exploding with a sweet, tart and tangy flavour all in one. All four flavours will be available within the Northern Ireland off-trade channels in April. Available in Musgrave NI, NISA and Wineflair Off Licences.
Four Loko offers its target 18–24-year-old audience the perfect at-home, unconventional, full-flavoured, ready to drink solution, in a convenient 440ml can format.
“Flavoured alcoholic beverages have been a key sub-category for some time and this trend is predicted to continue into 2021. Category growth in the North of Ireland is being fuelled by innovation within the traditional Ready To Drink space,” said Gavin Woodroofe, UKIRE Manager, Phusion Projects.
“It’s clear that there is strong innovation within this sub-category with traditional brand extensions being launched.
“With the total flavoured alcoholic beverages market worth £382.1 million in the UK, Four Loko aims to recreate its US success by building the brand through targeted social media activation, influencer-led events, and student experiences, later in the year. The brand will also launch its own e-comm website for its fully engaged fan base offering merchandise and product for sale.
“Four Loko has exceeded our dreams within the US market and our brand journey, creating epic stories for our engaged consumers, has proved itself in the highly competitive Ready To Drink arena and we are looking forward to engaging with Northern Ireland consumers with our bold marketing strategy and importantly our exciting unconventional flavours, to fuel their lifestyles.”
Four Loko will be exclusively distributed in Northern Ireland by independent sales and marketing company Richmond Marketing.
“As off-trade continues to grow and on-premises businesses get back on their feet following a year like no other, it’s great to be offering new and innovative brands to market, which are going to be genuinely exciting for Northern Ireland consumers,” said Commercial Director (NI) Philip McGowan.
*IRI Total US Conv 1 CT 24OZ FMB Brand Family – 2015 – 2020 YTD Ending 8/23/20