Swedish brand Kopparberg - best known for its fruit ciders - has shifted its sights to the apple market with its biggest piece of NPD to date.

Rolling out to stores at the end of April, Kopparberg Naked Apple Cider tasted different to anything else on the market, claimed the company, adding that the target consumer - 25 to 34-year-old males - would be more likely to stick with the new drink throughout an occasion than they would a fruit cider.

A Mintel report issued this year revealed cider was as popular as lager in terms of market penetration - at 47% - but said sales were held back by the drink’s image as something to have one or two glasses of.

Kopparberg said its new product, which would be sold as single 500ml bottles (rsp: £2.05) and six-packs (rsp: £11.99), was less sweet than fruit ciders and claimed it would offer consumers something different from the many dry ciders on the market.

“It is more appley and is a bridge between traditional dry-tasting British or Irish ciders and what is the now familiar sweetness of Swedish ciders,” said MD Davin Nugent.

Kopparberg has an apple variant in its fruit cider range but said Naked Apple offered a less sweet, crisper taste.

Kopparberg has enjoyed strong growth, with value sales up 64.7% year-on-year to £50.5m, and volumes up 61.5% [SymphonyIRI 52w/e 17 March 2012].

The launch would be supported with TV ads breaking mid-May, in addition to outdoor and social media as part of a £10m investment in the wider brand in 2012.