Westons cider

Premium cider producer Westons is going big on canned craft cider with a dedicated off-trade collection made up of its on-trade Rosie’s Pig and Caple Rd brands, alongside a new Pure Hopped drink.

The portfolio, which is being rolled into Tesco nationwide this week, joining the brand’s original craft Caple Rd variant on shelf, comprises Caple Rd No 5 alongside two drinks from the brewer’s Rosie’s Pig range – Handbrake Cloudy Cider with Damson and Flat Tyre Cloudy Cider with Rhubarb, which were launched in the on-trade in the spring.

The lightly sparkling collection (rsp: £2.20/330ml) is completed by Pure Hopped – a blend of English cider made with Herefordshire apple juice and Worcestershire hops. Made in collaboration with Purity Brewing Company, the newcomer is described as a smooth drink with subtle citrus flavour.

The launch marks Westons’ biggest push into canned craft cider and follows the introduction of the brewer’s “highly successful” Caple Rd cider brand, which was made available to the off-trade last November, after its on-trade launch in February 2015.

The dedicated on-trade collection would help attract more drinkers to the cider category by delivering a “genuine craft offer in timely format of the 330ml can”, said brand manager Tessa Holden, adding it would appeal to an increasing thirst for premium drinks with “a point of difference, traceability of ingredients and artisanship” among beer and cider drinkers.

Westons will be hoping the collection helps keep its momentum going - sales were up 5.8% to £39m in the past year [Nielsen 52 w/e 25 April 2016].

Rosie’s Pig Handbrake Cloudy Cider with Damson is a slowly matured, medium-sweet cider with hints of cherry & hedgerow fruits, while Rosie’s Pig Flat Tyre Cloudy Cider with Rhubarb is made from freshly pressed apples paired with an infusion of rhubarb juice to provide a fruity taste and tart finish.