Carlsberg has become the latest of the major brewers to launch a citrus-flavoured beer.

Rolling out to retailers now, Carlsberg Citrus is a 2.8%abv lager blended with limes, that has been developed to offer consumers a refreshing taste. The launch will be supported with a TV push from May as well as sampling and print advertising.

The arrival of Carlsberg Citrus comes a year after the launch of Carling Zest – also a 2.8% abv citrus beer – and just weeks after Heineken announced it was launching 2% abv lemon-flavoured beer Foster’s Radler.

The lower-abv category has been attractive to brewers following a change in duty rates two years ago that means beers at 2.8% abv or lower are charged 50% less tax. The change encouraged a string of launches that have helped drive a 39% year-on-year rise in sales of beers at 3.3% abv or below to around £62m - or about 1.7% of beer market [Nielsen 52 w/e 5 January 2013].

 “We have responded to consumer trends and developed a lager that consumers really do find refreshing and appealing,” said David Scott, director of marketing for Carlsberg UK. “It makes perfect sense to develop a beer that will support our customers with a beer their consumers want.