Source: Heineken

Heineken also reformulated fellow cider brand Bulmers last year

Heineken has relaunched its entire range of Strongbow ciders with an entirely new recipe free of artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours. 

The brewing giant, which last week announced plans to introduce calorie and nutrition labelling to its entire cider portfolio, revealed this week it has reformulated Strongbow, Strongbow Cloudy Apple and Strongbow Dark Fruit without changing the taste.

The new versions of the drinks had “been positively tested with thousands of loyal Strongbow customers”, said the brewer. 

Heineken was “on a mission to make our Strongbow offering even better and future-proof it for generations to come”, added Heineken UK marketing director Cindy Tervoort.

The brewer changed the recipe for Bulmers in 2018 to remove artificial sweeteners, colours and flavourings. At the time, Bulmers was locked in a tailspin of plummeting sales, and, though it has not returned to growth, it has performed much better since the relaunch. 

Conversely, this move comes on the back of a bumper year for Strongbow, whose Dark Fruit variant has been one of the cider sector’s biggest success stories over recent years, growing by £37.9m over the past year [Nielsen 52 w/e 20 April 2019].

Read more: the age of experimentation? Beer & cider category report 2019