Strongbow Launch Gives Cider The Citrus Edge

28th February 2014

HEINEKEN, the UK's leading Cider and Beer business, is set to offer retailers a competitive edge in the cider category through the launch of an exciting new Strongbow variant. Harnessing the power of the UK's No 1 cider brand, new Strongbow Citrus Edge is a refreshingly different 4% ABV Classic Cider cut with lemon and lime. The launch follows hot on the heels of Strongbow Dark Fruit, which was one of the standout drinks of 2013.

Strongbow has driven category value in the past year with the successful introduction of innovative new fruit variants which encourage the traditionally more conservative group of Classic Cider drinkers to tap into the trend towards flavoured ciders. Everyday cider refreshment and a 4% ABV positioning will make Strongbow Citrus Edge the ideal drink to share on mixed social occasions and the new variant is set to win acclaim from shoppers and consumers seeking full – flavoured refreshment.

Classic Cider sales

As one of the most dynamic FMCG categories in recent years, Cider has experienced phenomenal growth as consumers increasingly look for new taste experiences. Classic Cider represents more than a third of total category value and is growing by 3% , largely driven by the Strongbow brand, which is the No.1 bestseller with an 83% value share . Recognising the latent demand for everyday flavour refreshment, the launch of Strongbow Pear and Strongbow Dark Fruit has successfully delivered incremental sales for both category and brand. 60% of Strongbow Dark Fruit purchases are completely new , whilst Strongbow Pear has delivered over 46% of incremental sales.

Opening up the Classic Cider segment to more new drinkers and new occasions, Strongbow Citrus Edge is also set to mirror that success, with 19-34 years old male drinkers seeking a cider that combines a high fruit flavor with the famous refreshment qualities of the Strongbow Original brand.

Strongbow Citrus Edge is guaranteed to appeal to the eye as well as the tongue thanks to its high-impact packaging primary and secondary packaging design which replaces the iconic black cues of its parent brand with a refreshing silver palette flashed with vibrant yellow and lime depicting its citrus flavours. Strongbow Citrus Edge will be available in a range of different pack formats including 500ml bottles, 4 x440ml cans, 10 x440ml cans and 4x 500ml cans.

The launch will be supported by a £5m marketing campaign to build awareness and encourage trial, including heavyweight outdoor and print advertising and BTL support to maximise stand out in store.

Giving cider sales the Citrus Edge

Martin Porter, Managing Director-Off Trade at HEINEKEN, said: "Classic Cider is the category's largest segment and its performance over the last year has largely been driven by innovation from Strongbow. As a result, shoppers and consumers are extending the search for new cider experiences to more drinking occasions and Strongbow Citrus Edge has the quality credentials to complement the success of Strongbow Dark Fruit in 2014.

"We urge retailers to stock the Strongbow range to meet the needs of their cider shoppers and take full advantage of the significant sales opportunity that Strongbow Original, Strongbow Pear, Strongbow Dark Fruit and Citrus Edge represent."

Strongbow. EARN IT

The Strongbow equity is now the 9th biggest alcohol brand in the UK, with a 32% volume share of Total Cider, making it 22% bigger than its nearest competitors . Strongbow Pear is bigger than any other Pear flavoured cider (mainstream or modern) in the off-trade, whilst Strongbow Dark Fruit has been crowned the best-selling FMCG launch of 2013 . The Strongbow brand is supported by a high-profile above-the-line marketing campaign, which encourages members of the public to step out of their comfort zone and recognise Strongbow as the brand that rewards people who EARN IT.