PARIS: Pernod Ricard has unveiled its new Ricard bottle, following the first major product redesign in the brand's 79-year history.

The new-look design, developed with the assistance of UK ad agency Coley Porter Bell, includes embossed Ricard branding in the iconic glass bottle and a slightly modified shape.

Around 50m litres of Ricard are sold each year, and 76% of sales are in France.

Figures cited by the Financial Times show that Ricard sales have been steady after a decline during 2002-05.

The rebranding comes as part of the firm's ongoing "repremiumisation" strategy, which has included initiatives fashion icon Christian Lacroix designing limited editions of Pernod Ricard brands.

New "super-premium" versions of existing brands, such as ABSOLUT Elyx, have also been launched in the last year.

Pierre Pringuet, Pernod Ricard ceo, said: "Innovation is now, more than ever before, at the heart of the Pernod Ricard model.

"Innovation accelerates growth: it is one of the drivers of our premiumisation strategy."

According to figures from Euromonitor, fast-growth economies were crucial in pushing Pernod Ricard's net sales up 39% year-on-year for the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

Pernod Ricard and its rival Diageo are both thought to have captured 4.4% of the global spirits market in 2010.

"Both Indian whiskey in India and cognac in China, more than offset [Pernod Ricard's] weak performances in North America and Western Europe," the report added.

The new Ricard bottles will go on sale in February.

Data sourced from Pernod Ricard/Financial Times/TF1/Euromonitor; additional content by Warc staff