Foster's Radler Wheels Out New Variants

28th February 2014

HEINEKEN, the UK's leading cider and beer business, has unveiled exciting new additions to its Foster's Radler portfolio. These will help fulfil the rising demand for great tasting lower-strength beer on lighter drinking occasions. Taking its name from the German word for "cyclist", Radler is a beer-based drink dating back to the 1920’s when cyclists would drink the mixed beer in the mountains when stopping for a rest.

Since its debut last spring, total sales of 2% ABV Foster’s Radler cut with Cloudy Lemon have topped 17 million bottles. Building on the brand's success and the increasing relevancy of the moderation category to young adult consumers, HEINEKEN is introducing two new variants from March. The expanded range will include new 2% ABV Foster's Radler with 'Lime & Ginger' and a 0.0%ABV version of the original Foster's Radler. In addition, the brand will be available in new 440ml cans to tap into the demand for easier formats for on-the-move moderation occasions.

Fuelled by this authenticity and heritage, Radler-style beers have grown in popularity across Europe, where national mainstream lager brands have introduced variants in Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Austria and Croatia. HEINEKEN was first to market in the UK with the original Foster's Radler in 2013.

Unprecedented success

The moderation category is enjoying unprecedented success with total value sales currently worth £45m and growing at 62.4% year-on-year . Combining the famous refreshment values of Foster's lager with the natural refreshment of lemons, Foster's Radler is successfully recruiting new consumers to the segment and the latest additions to the Radler portfolio will cement the brand’s position within this fast emerging segment.

Created as a great tasting lager, ideal for occasions where drinkers want something lighter, Foster's Radler became market leader within six months of its launch. The new variants are set to open up the segment, bringing new shoppers to both the Foster's brand and the moderation category. Tapping into the trend for flavour experimentation, Foster's Radler Lime and Ginger offers an exciting new taste, ideal for socialising at mixed-sex gatherings, whilst the 0.0% ABV Foster Radler offers consumers the same great Radler taste and the renowned refreshment of Foster's. Underlining the brand's taste credentials, blind taste tests showed that 61% of shoppers preferred Foster's Radler to its nearest competitor.

Martin Porter, Managing Director-Off Trade at HEINEKEN, said: "We believe the moderation segment could represent as much as 5% of total Cider and Beer volumes in the UK within 10 years. By extending the Foster's Radler range to include a refreshing new Lime and Ginger variant and a 0.0% ABV alternative to the lemon flavoured original, we are widening consumer choice and encouraging more people to try our market leading moderation products.

"With an extensive marketing programme set to drive shopper trial and awareness, we strongly urge retailers to stock up to capitalise on the demand the new products and format are set to bring."

The Foster's Radler range will be supported from May with a multi-million pound through-the-line summer campaign, encompassing TV, print and outdoor advertising, in-store sampling, retail couponing, digital marketing and heavyweight PR to drive trial and awareness.