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    WKD X: the next generation

    WKD X, the caffeine-containing seven per cent ABV sub-brand of WKD, is to build on the strong momentum achieved since launch by expanding its range of flavours and introducing striking new 500ml can designs.

    WKD X, which draws its inspiration from the energy drinks category, is the bold initiative from SHS Drinks that has allowed the WKD brand to quickly make its mark in the fast-growing “enhanced RTD” segment of the RTD category. Available in single cans only, WKD X is an alcoholic drink containing caffeine, guarana and taurine, and competes in the buoyant high energy/higher ABV segment.

    This autumn, the current WKD X range of two variants is expanding to three trend-led flavours, comprising Mango Passion, Dark Berry, and Blue Raspberry. Evolving the WKD X offering to include new Mango Passion and new Dark Berry variants reflects increasing RTD consumer preferences for enticing fruit flavours.

    The eye-catching new pack designs use strong, confident colourways to differentiate the three flavours and maximise shelf stand-out. Created to look equally impactful both in chiller units and in consumer hands, the new graphics give greater prominence to the “X” design elements so as to amplify the sub-brand messaging.

    All three WKD X fruit flavours will be available in both standard formats and £2.99 price-marked pack (PMP) alternatives. Both the standard pack and PMP 500ml single cans will continue to be available in trade packs of 12 units.

    The introduction of enticing new flavours and new-look cans will be supported from January by huge influencer and social media campaigns. In addition, the WKD team of student ambassadors will bring activity to life on campuses and in student towns nationwide in the spring term through innovative programmes of sampling, a presence at key university events, and the creation of localised social media content to drive engagement. A series of intriguing UK-wide pop-up events and high-profile guerilla marketing activities will also take place in key cities to raise awareness of the new packs and flavours amongst WKD X’s core 18 to 24-year-old target audience.

    SHS Drinks will be directly supporting trade partners to ensure the success of WKD X’s evolution through customer-specific social media, online advertising on retailer and wholesaler websites, and brand-led ads in key in-house publications and catalogues.

    As the No.1 RTD in the UK in both the take home and on-trade channels and a brand committed to leading expansion of the total RTD category, WKD X is perfectly placed to further grow the burgeoning enhanced RTD segment. Enhanced RTDs are currently worth £33m in the impulse sector and SHS Drinks believes that, as a national, reputable brand, WKD X is set to drive further growth. WKD X Blue is already the No.1 enhanced RTD SKU in England and Wales in terms of rate of sale.

    “Since its introduction, WKD X has attracted an overwhelming response from both the trade and consumers, and this next stage of development is all about helping customers further grow the enhanced RTD segment,” said Alison Gray, head of brand – WKD at SHS Drinks. “The high energy/higher ABV segment is seeing massive growth – at a rate well in excess of the total RTD category – and we know that ‘newness’ is key to continuing to drive sales.

    “Consumers want enticing new flavours and they want packs that look special and interesting so we’ve evolved our offering to better meet changing shopper needs. With three great fruity flavours, striking can graphics, a competitive £2.99 PMP option, and a comprehensive trade and consumer support package, WKD X is poised for a further step-change in sales.”

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