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S&N launches ‘widget’ versions of Foster’s and Kronenbourg

14 March
00:00 2008
The ‘widget’ is back for canned lager in what Scottish & Newcastle UK (S&N UK) is claiming to be its “biggest-ever off-trade product innovation”.

Next month (April) will see the launch of Foster’s with in-can Scuba and Kronennourg 1664 with Dynamo Système, both of which will be sold at a premium to their ‘parent’ variants.

S&N UK says it has developed a ‘widget’ that will work in lager. The brewer said previous attempts in the 1990s to launch a ‘widget’ lager failed – including the ill-fated Guinness Enigma premium canned lager – because it adopted the in-can technology used for ales and stouts.

Boffins at S&N UK are said to have come up with an in-can device that releases tiny bubbles to give smoother-tasting Foster’s and Kronenbourg 1664. The technology has already been tested in the French market with last year’s launch of Kronenbourg’s Instant Pression.

“This isn’t just a new product launch. It is something very different and more important. It’s a about canned lager just getting better,” said Mark Gerken, sales managing director for take-home at S&N UK.

The ‘widget’ lagers are being launched on April 7 in 500ml cans, with 440ml of liquid, in four-packs and 10-packs.

Four-packs in the independent trade will be price-marked. S&N UK expects the four-packs, which will be the format to drive sales in the first few months, to retail between 50p to 80p above the standard pricing levels.

“This is an opportunity to get off the pricing conveyor belt,” said Carol Saunders, head of customer marketing at S&N UK.

The brewer is investing £12m behind the new products in 2008, with TV advertising for Kronenbourg 1664 in June and October and posters for the Foster’s product.

In-store point of sale will emphasise the need to serve the lagers “extra cold” to get the full effect of the ‘widget’.

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