Merrydown is hoping to recruit an army of younger fans with a packaging makeover for its Vintage range.

The cider maker believes that appealing to them visually on shelf is the starting point. In particular, it is aiming to attract men and women aged between 24 and 35 who are usually either beer or RTD stalwarts.

The new one-litre glass bottles are more curvy than their predecessors, while the Vintage range of cans has been updated to make them stand out more on shelf. One plan is to position Vintage as an essential accompaniment to barbeques and al fresco eating.

One buyer claimed Merrydown faced a tough task in recruiting a new generation of drinkers, but added: “We are
experiencing a downturn in the popularity of a number of RTD brands. In the absence of anything else coming through, there is indeed an opportunity for a traditional drink like cider to start recruiting new drinkers, particularly as we are coming up to summer and people are looking for something refreshing.”

Merrydown managing director Chris Carr said there were no plans to alter the cider itself and the aim was to continue operating with the brand at the premium end of the market.

He said: “The new look and packaging format move us strongly into the modern age while retaining a flavour of the heritage that is Merrydown.

“There appears to be a move back towards premium cider and admitting to liking cider is no longer considered embarrassing.”

Meanwhile, Interbrew will be aiming to keep chilled Stella Artois at the front of consumers’ minds in independents this summer by supplying retailers with ‘summer chilling’ PoS.
Simon Mowbray