Holsten UK is looking to create a whole new sector in the premium packaged drinks market with the launch of Holsten Fusion, a range of fruit flavoured lagers.
The German brewer has launched the new concept in an attempt to bridge the gap between the thriving premium packaged spirit (PPS) market and premium packaged lagers (PPLs).
The move follows more than 18 months of consumer research and is a marked departure from its flagship Holsten Pils brand.
Andrew Edge, marketing director for Holsten, said: "This is not Holsten Pils with something put in it, it's a new brand and it's very different.
"Our research showed there is demand for a drink that is less cloying than a PPS yet less bitter and gassy than a lager, and we believe that we've got the right balance."
Brewed at the Holsten brewery in Hamburg, Fusion has the appearance of lager, an ABV of five per cent and is targeted at 18 to 24-year-old drinkers of either sex.
"There's not been a great deal of innovation in the PPL market, but we realised that there was a big chunk of people that Holsten Pils didn't appeal to and that tended to be the younger drinkers on a big night out," added Mr Edge.
"Fusion has the credibility of a mainstream brand without the faddishness of some of the PPS brands. It gives people another drinking choice."
Fusion will initially be available in three flavours; currant, citrus and lemon and is set to sit alongside the likes of Smirnoff Ice, Bacardi Breezer as well as Becks and Budweiser.
The launch of Holsten Fusion, due in May, will be enhanced by a £1.6m marketing spend that will initially focus on sampling and in-outlet point-of-sale material.
A press advertising campaign is earmarked for September and October.