Strongbow Citrus Edge

Strongbow Citrus Edge launches in March

Heineken is ramping up its activity on flavoured ciders with a new citrus variant for Strongbow and the introduction of an established New Zealand cider brand to the UK.

The new Strongbow Citrus Edge – a 4% Strongbow cider with lemon and lime – will be launched into the off-trade from mid-March, supported by a £5m marketing campaign.

The advertising, which will focus on a heavyweight outdoor campaign, national print and press activity, and BTL activity, will piggy-back off the success of its dark fruits variant, which launched last year. The campaign will highlight the contrasting and complementary nature of the two variants, Heineken said, and comes as part of a wider £20m investment in the Strongbow brand.

Since launching in June 2013, Strongbow Dark Fruit has grown to be a £19m brand, with 60% of sales incremental to the category, it said.

“Take-up has been extremely positive on the back of Strongbow Dark Fruit,” Heineken UK’s off-trade category marketing director Craig Clarkson said. “Berry fruit flavours were established before Dark Fruit, but this is quite new.”

Nearly 22% of category growth in the cider market currently comes from NPD, he added [IRI 4/1/14 total off-trade].

The new variant will be available in a range of pack formats, including 500ml bottles, 4 x440ml cans, 10 x440ml cans, and 4x 500ml cans.

Old Mout cider

The company is also introducing its New Zealand cider brand, Old Mout, to the UK. The ‘quirky’ three-strong range, which comprises summer berries, passion fruit & apple, and kiwi & lime (rsp: £2.30-£2.50/500ml), is targeting 18-24 year olds who seek out different flavours in order to stand out and impress their mates.

Old Mout Cider

Old Mout Cider

The launch will be supported by a £3m launch campaign to drive trial and awareness, alongside print and outdoor advertising to highlight its “playful sense of adventure”, in-outlet sampling and digital marketing.

Heineken said it wanted to bring a genuine proposition from New Zealand to the UK to grow the world cider segment, which is contributing 11% of off-trade growth, and drive sustainable category growth. However it admitted that the liquid differs from the New Zealand-made brand, and the ciders will be manufactured in Europe. 

The brand is intended to go head-to-head with other ‘world’ ciders such as Rekorderlig, Kopparberg and Savannah.