women are one of the fastest growing markets for the alcohol industry. in the UK, the proportion of women who drink more than 14 units per week has increased from 12 per cent in 1992 to 18 per cent in 2009. There has been no significant change in the proportion of men who drink more than 21 units per week – about 27 per cent. (source: here.) so, still room for improvement, then, till we catch up with the men?

Nuvo is a brand of sparkling liqueur with 15% of alcohol by volume that blends vodka, white wine and fruit nectar. with its tagline – ‘Unleash Your Sparkle’ – it is one example of a product marketed and targeted specifically at women.

indeed, if the colour, the shape of the bottle – created by Linea, a French company that makes fragrance packaging – and the lipstick lid weren’t enough of a clue, for particularly dense women the first bottles introduced in 2007 carried the legend, ‘For Her’. a few months after its release these words were removed, to widen its appeal to male consumers.

the product was developed by one Raphael Yakoby, in order to target the female purchasers of alcohol products. According to his research, women make 58 percent of all liqueur purchases, 49 percent of all vodka purchases and 59 percent of all champagne and sparkling wine purchases. In other words, their buying power is huge.’ (source: here.)

according to an article in The New York Times – which also displays the original advertising campaign for the product with Eva Longoria with the un-subtle tagline ‘Be Glamorous’ –

And then, Nuvo became popular with men.

African-Americans of both sexes who drink liquor are more likely on average to like alcohol mixed with juice, with 54 percent stating such a preference compared with 47 percent of imbibers over all, according to Mintel. Hispanic liquor drinkers, meanwhile, have a predilection for fruit-infused alcohol, with 60 percent liking it, compared with the average of 50 percent.

When it became evident that Nuvo was becoming popular among African-American and Hispanic men, the brand removed “for her” from the bottle and changed its Web address from NuvoForHer.com to SparklingNuvo.com. Also, through product placement deals, Nuvo appeared in hip-hop videos by musicians including Ludacris and Jamie Foxx, and in Latin music videos by musicians including Jenni Rivera and A. B. Quintanilla’s All Starz.

Today, while women buy 70 percent to 80 percent of Nuvo, when it comes to actual consumption, it is slightly more popular with men, who account for 52 percent of Nuvo drinkers. (Drinking a pink beverage may require a thick skin, though, as evidenced in July in San Antonio, when, as reported in The San Antonio Express-News, a man mocked for drinking Nuvo at a party drew a pistol and shot another man in the abdomen.)

The brand estimates it will sell about 2.9 million bottles in 2010. Diageo, whose brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Smirnoff, made an initial minority investment in Nuvo in 2007, and in June increased that investment, and now owns about a 70 percent stake of the brand.’

last and most infuriating of all – as part of the launch of this product, the company was reported to be donating a proportion of all sales to ‘women’s causes’. the only evidence that I can find of this actually happening is here:

‘And not only does NUVO look pink, it thinks pink! With the help of the Keep-A-Breast Foundation, NUVO made a donation assisting the efforts to raise breast cancer awareness at the “Think Pink, Drink Pink” NUVO Toast and Party. The event was held at Room Service on the East Side during this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month (last month for those that don’t, but should know), and the star-studded event was hosted by Wendy Williams, “The Queen of All Media,” who is actually a fan of the libation. “Its pretty and it tastes good.” With each bottle sold, a portion of the sale will go towards a women’s cause.’

supporting breast cancer awareness??!! did they feel like mentioning, for example, that drinking more than 21 units of alcohol a week increases the risk of breast cancer by 40%? un fucking believable….

I have news for you, alcohol industry – we are getting wise to you.

carry the message, people!