Westons Cider is demonstrating its ability to innovate, with the launch of a raspberry-flavoured cider called Kiss.

The 3.8% abv drink is a blend of Herefordshire medium dry cider that has been traditionally matured in old oak vats combined with raspberry juice to create what the company refers to as a 'rosé' cider. Kiss will retail at £1.99 for a 500ml bottle and it is aimed mostly at women aged between 23 and 35. It has modern packaging which contrasts with the company's traditional heritage labelling, but Kiss maintains the Westons name on the bottle.

"Kiss is a contemporary, sophisticated addition to the Westons portfolio - ripe summer berry taste coupled with a traditional, quality cider," said commercial director Roger Jackson.

The family-run Westons, which has been producing cider since 1880, has a range of brands which promote the company's heritage, but it is also developing a reputation for creating innovative products to target changing consumer trends.

In 2004, Westons launched the off-trade's first bag-in-box cider - its three-litre Organic Draught Vintage Cider. Also in 2004, it produced what it claimed was the first low-carb and low-cal cider, Stowford LC.

The launch of Kiss also follows the recent launch of fruit-style cider Jacques by Scottish & Newcastle UK.

"Westons is hoping to capture people who have left the RTD category as well as seasoned cider drinkers," said a spokeswoman.

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