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Red Stripe coins new market segment for rootsy drink Injin

Published:Wednesday | August 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson
The Red Stripe Jamaica brewery at Spanish Town Road, Kingston.

Brewery company Desnoes & Geddes Limited, which trades as Red Stripe Jamaica, has coined a new market segment for its own, which it calls 'rootsy'.

Within that space, the company has rolled out a herbal alcoholic drink called Injin which appears to play on the word engine targeted mostly at the party crowd.

The new drink, described by Red Stripe as a "sensual, rootsy bitters", contains ginseng, sarsaparilla, herbs and alcohol.

The company told Gleaner Business that it launched Injin in order to remain competitive while providing additional options for its consumers in a "brand new category".

"Red Stripe has created

its own space. We have improved on the existing alcoholic bitters market, in which there really is

one major player, by creating a supremely mixable and versatile liquid with truly natural ingredients," said innovation and digital marketing manager Rory Burchenson.

It expects the drink to be consumed mostly at parties and "endz", a trendy term meant to denote social hang-out spots, whether that's in someone's backyard, a house, or a rooftop.

"It really is a state of mind tied to a physical space," said Burchenson.

The product will retail for about $90 for a drink and $500 for the queue. For now, Injin is meant only for local distribution. The company is unsure how big the 'rootsy' market can be, but says more than 100,000 cases of alcoholic bitters are distributed in Jamaica.

As to the concept behind then name, it's meant to represent "a mindset the driving factors that affect our daily lives, whether it be a house, money, a career, fashion, sex, etc," Burchenson said. "The name therefore speaks to what drives you internally," he added.

Red Stripe will invest approximately 30 per cent of its innovation budget behind marketing this brand, but declined to state the figure.

Its parent company, Heineken, released second-quarter results in late July, which indicated that Red Stripe was one of a handful of beers in its portfolio that grew sales by double-digit levels.

Red Stripe said its sales growth resulted from refocused marketing efforts in its Jamaican and overseas markets.

"In our international markets, Red Stripe has benefited from our authentic positioning in the USA, having repatriated the volumes to production in Jamaica along with trade focus in key regions; in the UK from driving new listings in the retail trade, and lastly opening up new international markets such as Brazil and Australia," said finance director Bruce Kidner, who declined to give figures.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com