Cider producers are looking to tap into demand for dark fruit drinks.

Heineken will launch a Dark Fruit variant of Strongbow next month and Halewood is rolling out a cherry & apple variant under its Lambrini cider range now.

Strongbow Dark Fruit - a 4% abv mix of Strongbow cider, blackcurrant and blackberry juices - follows the introduction of a pear variant last July. Available exclusively to the off-trade from mid-June in 440ml and 500ml cans, Dark Fruit will be supported by outdoor ads, sampling and PoS. A 500ml bottle will launch in August.

Heineken said the launch was designed to draw more fans of everyday cider into flavoured cider, which has grown 61% year-on-year and accounts for 15% of off-trade cider sales by value [Nielsen 52 w/e 2 February 2013].

Meanwhile, Halewood has revamped Lambrini Cider and is rolling out a 4% abv cherry & apple variant to sit alongside the strawberry & elderflower and blackberry & raspberry ciders it launched in March 2012. All three will get a new, brighter bottle design.

“Consumers have shown a real preference for dark fruit variants,” said Halewood.