Aussie underdog takes on ready-to-drink whisky market

21 January, 2015

An Australian underdog is now among the giants of the ready-to-drink (RTD) whisky and bourbon industry and ready to take them on.

Launched on Australia Day, NED Whisky & Cola, produced by Australian-owned Top Shelf International, has been developed to fill a gap in the market for a locally-owned product with a taste that sits perfectly between established bourbon and whisky RTD products.

NED Whisky & Cola is the first of many products that Top Shelf International plans to introduce under the NED umbrella in the coming months.

"An Australian alternative"

"The Australian ready-to-drink market is highly competitive but we plan on taking on the big boys at their own game and give bourbon and whisky drinkers an Australian alternative," Top Shelf International Director Tom Fairchild said.

"We think there's a large percentage of Australian consumers who will identify with NED and support a new, exciting brand that delivers a drink that dissects the bourbon and whisky sectors.

"Getting the taste right took months of testing different flavour combinations before we settled on a mix we think is perfect for the Australian market.

"It sits very deliberately between the RTD bourbon & cola and whisky & cola products that are currently available. We think it's a flavour that will appeal to drinkers of both products.

"From the outset we wanted to create a product that would be instantly recognisable and uniquely Australian, so it didn't take long to decide to name it after an infamous figure whose underdog spirit many Australians relate to."

Sharing the local spirit

The brand, advertising and social media strategy, packaging, collateral and website were developed by Melbourne creative agency MMR Studio.

The result is a unique brand and product that reflects the qualities many Australians see in themselves – passionate; loyal; independent; courageous.

"We love the brand and think it's something Australians will gravitate towards. What will make NED Whisky & Cola a success however is the taste," Fairchild said.

"We know we're underdogs but that's what NED Whisky & Cola is all about."

NED Whisky & Cola will be officially launched on Australia Day at the Hanging Rock Races, where it has secured naming rights to the Hanging Rock Cup.

Top Shelf plans to provide ongoing support to local communities and events throughout Australia through the NED brand, so Hanging Rock is the perfect place to get it all started.

NED Whisky & Cola is available in four-can packs or 24-can slabs.

Distribution agreements are currently being finalised.