Number one RTD launches new flavour

October 18, 2022
By Ioni Doherty

When-196 Double Lemon launched last year, it rocked the market, coming in as the biggest launch of the past five years. The brand quickly found its footing, and this summer, Beam Suntory is hoping to do it all again with the launch of a new SKU this month: -196 Double Grape.

“Beam Suntory is in a unique position with the popularity of Strong Zero and now -196 within our Australian target consumer, and with that, we plan to cement our leadership role in bringing authentic and unmistakably Japanese flavours to this market,” says Beam Suntory Marketing Director, Trent Chapman.

“We couldn’t be more excited for the launch of -196 Double Grape ahead of the key summer period and are confident this flavour will translate in the Australian market – both with those familiar with the original Strong Zero Double Grape in Japan, as well as our new local -196 fans.”

The decision for Beam to add to its -196 portfolio locally was affirmed by several market trends including a desire for light RTD high ABV drinks, which is growing in value at up 52 per cent compared to last year. Growth that is 3.5 times higher than that of RTDs with ABV less than 5.1 per cent.

Utilising Suntory’s proprietary Freeze Crush Infusion Technology™ like its lemon counterpart, -196 Double Grape takes whole grapes frozen in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196°C and pulverizes them to capture all the sourness, sweetness and aroma of the fruit and natural flavours. This powder is then soaked in shochu and vodka – creating an extreme, fresh-flavoured grape drink topped with refreshing soda water.

The vibrant and fizzy RTD contains zero grams of sugar and just 112 calories per can without compromising any flavour and is forecast to prove popular amongst the target consumer who continues to seek out better-for-you options

With Strong Zero continuing as Suntory’s number one premix in Japan3 and the consistent performance of -196 Double Lemon in Australia, Beam Suntory says they are continuing their investment in both RTDs and in ‘Brand Japan’ to set the brand up for continued success.

-196 Double Grape is set to reach the shelves of all major liquor retailers from late October 2022.

-196 Double Grape & -196 Double Lemon (ABV 6 per cent) both have a Recommended Retail Price RRP of $23 (four pack) and $49 (10 pack).

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