The new range comprises a number of new variants, including a low alcohol 2.8 per cent lager and an alcohol-free version. The 9 per cent Kestrel Super is also being relaunched, along with a ‘premium’ 5 per cent lager and a Pilsner.
Kestrel was bought last year by Nigel McNally, a former marketing director at Wells & Young’s, who now co-runs Brookfield Drinks, a new company that focuses on reviving neglected brands.
SPD was brought in to work on the project about six months ago, due to an existing relationship with both McNally and Wells & Young, which previously owned Kestrel.
The consultancy has designed new packaging for the range, redrawing the logo and creating a new colour palette. The kestrel illustration on the packaging has also been modified for the relaunch.
According to SPD, the colour palette used across the range is ‘inspired by Scotland’, with the 5 per cent variant using purple, referencing heather; the low-strength using a ‘Scottish blue’ and a green tone used for the Pilsner.
The ‘sharing can’ incorporates more of the previous Kestrel look and feel, as to not alienate previous Kestrel drinkers, says Andy George, creative strategist at SPD.
George says, ‘We needed to try and premiumise Kestrel – especially with the 5 per cent – so we used purple to try and get it toe-to-toe with other premium continental lagers, but we also had to give [the brand] strong Scottish credentials.’
George says that much of the strategy work for the relaunch focuses on repositioning Kestrel Super as a ‘responsible drinking option’, and trying to move away from its previous ‘bad rep’.
He says, ‘We wanted to communicate that rather than it just being a stronger brew it has a very complex flavour profile – it’s not just about the strength.’
Kestrel is currently being sold in independent retailers. And SPD says the brand is in talks with ‘some larger multiples about stocking the brand in future.