UK-based Thomas Lowndes & Co is continuing to offer famous international
liqueur and spirit brands in a suitable format for the food manufacturing industry,
and in particular the adult dessert market, and has announced the launch of
a new range of overtly branded products for the Christmas season.

Company MD James Whittaker explained: "The presence of a credible brand
or character adds further endorsement to a product and this practice is commonplace
in other markets, such as children’s yoghurt and biscuits.

"With the trend towards self indulgence continuing, the premium adult
dessert market is highly receptive to added value through licensing and we are
targeting this market with more brand partnerships, of which the latest is the
Tia Maria Wicked Chocolate Truffle Dessert [with Signature Foods,
on behalf of Gastronomic Genius]."

As part of Allied Domecq Spirits & Wines (UK) Ltd, Thomas Lowndes
is able to access a vast portfolio of international drinks brands, which it
can offer to the food industry in culinary alcohol form. Those brands include;
Courvoisier VS Cognac, Tia Maria, Beefeater Gin, Teacher’s Scotch Whisky,
Lamb’s Navy Rum, Harveys Bristol Cream, Cockburn’s Port, Grand Marnier, Drambuie
and Southern Comfort.

In time for Christmas, the company has announced the launch of a number of
new food products containing alcohol. Apart from the Tia Maria Truffle Dessert,
speciality food producer Bennett Opie is using branded alcohol for the
first time for a new range of luxury fruits in alcohol. The Forbidden Fruit
range is packaged for the gift market and available exclusively in supermarket
chain Waitrose.

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William Opie, company MD, commented: "The main criteria behind the new
Forbidden Fruit range was to develop a high quality product that not only looks
good but delivers on taste as well.

"We decided to use branded alcohol this year because it offers added value
and a distinct advantage in terms of quality. The objective was to develop a
quality product that the consumer will repeat purchases year after year."

Waitrose is also launching a new type of crème brûlée;
Waitrose Crème Brûlée with Chocolate and Grand Marnier.
It is being launched as a result of research carried out by Thomas Lowndes earlier
this year, suggesting that society is becoming more self indulgent than ever,
and ‘normalising’ premium products from special occasions to more frequent everyday

Thomas Lowndes’ alcohol has tied up with several of other UK supermarket multiples
to offer exclusive branded products.

The company revealed that Sainsbury’s will launch a triple pack of branded
brandy flavoured creams; standard, chocolate and vanilla all with Courvoisier
VS Cognac. The products were developed by Arla Foods in conjunction with

High street retailer Marks & Spencer is meanwhile launching Connoisseur
Mini Mince Pies which contain Grand Marnier butter cream. Lucy Oliver, a product
developer at M&S, commented: "Consumers often equate luxury with the
amount and type of alcohol used in a product […] The use of a branded alcohol
such as Grand Marnier conveys a strong selling message and adds greater value
than a generic brand.

"The Grand Marnier butter cream mince pie is unusual and different due
to our first ever usage of Grand Marnier with mince pies and reflects our strategy
to offer the Christmas consumer traditional products with a twist."

Marks & Spencer is also offering a new format for the traditional Christmas
pudding product; the Connoisseur Christmas Ring Pudding with Brandy Soaked
Glacé Cherries
. Oliver explained: "Whilst everyone naturally
wants the same traditional products each year, such as Christmas pudding, the
key to success is taking these familiar products and tastes and presenting them
in different, more innovative ways. We are quietly confident that our new Christmas
pudding will be very popular."