-----Message d'origine-----
De : Robin Room [mailto:robin.room@sorad.su.se]
Envoyé : mercredi, 29. mai 2002 20:34
Objet : the restless tide of product innovation

Sebor's reusable absinthe pipe set to spark controversy
The Publican (UK) 2 May 2002

Sebor is looking to strengthen its position as the UK’s best- selling absinthe with the launch of a new “sipping pipe”.

The move to introduce the 50ml pipes into the on-trade has been prompted by a response to glass versions of the pipes, which have been available on the Sebor website for more than two years and proved popular among collectors.

Sebor Absinth, with an ABV of 55 per cent, has traditionally been drunk as a potent shot or as a cocktail ingredient.
Although the pipes have previously been used as point-of-sale material, the fragility of the glass versions has up until now prevented them from being rolled out.

In what is a first for the drinks industry, and in an effort to eliminate the consumer craze of pinching innovative branded glassware, Sebor is set to introduce a two-tier price structure where drinkers pay a lower price for a shot served conventionally in a shot glass and then a premium price (an additional £1 is suggested by Sebor) for a shot served in a Sebor Absinth Sipping Pipe.

The customer will then be able to keep the reusable pipe and the bar keeps the additional profit. Pubs and bars will be able to buy the pipes for around 35p, giving the licensee a gross profit of around 60 per cent and a net cash margin of 50p.

Sebor marketing manager Jeremy Hill said the concept would revolutionise the use of branded glassware in the on-trade and dismissed suggestions that the new drinking vessel is bound to draw comparisons with illegal drug paraphernalia.

“Sipping pipes add to the Sebor Absinth experience, slowing consumption, as we feel that it should be consumed in a contemplative manner,” he said.

“We’re not about chucking down shots, test-tubes or yards of ale. While these look controversial, they are harmlessly novel ways of enjoying a drink.”

However, Jean Coussins, director of The Portman Group - a trade body set-up to promote sensible drinking - said: “If this device is part of the product’s packaging or point-of-sale material there may well be a problem in relation to The Portman Group code which expressly forbids any allusion to illicit drugs.”

Although The Portman Group has no direct statutory powers as such, it is almost impossible for a company to successfully market any product that is believed to be unacceptable by the code.  

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