White Ace

Wholesaler Bestway has ditched the ‘White’ from the name of its high-strength White Ace cider, in an effort to distance itself from growing controversy around strong ciders.

The 7.5% abv drink will now be called simply Ace, and price marks have been removed from packs to help Scottish retailers comply with new Minimum Unit Pricing rules, which will come into force on 1 May.

Consumer research conducted by Bestway revealed an overwhelming majority of shoppers (93%) considered the term ‘white cider’ negative, said the wholesaler. A new apple logo had been introduced to “reinforce Ace cider’s main ingredient and refreshing apple taste”, it added.

Bestway director of trading for licensed Roopinder Toor said its research also identified “taste as the primary reason why consumers buy into the strong cider category rather than strength or price”.

The change comes amid fierce criticism by the government of white ciders and their prevalence among vulnerable members of society.

In the most recent Budget, chancellor Philip Hammond froze duty on all alcohol except “super-strength” ciders between 6.9% and 7.5% abv - a move cider makers claimed was punitive and misguided. However, Hammond said excessive consumption was “all too often through cheap, low-quality products”.