Heineken is to roll out four new low and no-alcohol drinks - including two 2.8% abv ciders.
Bulmers Five Fruit Harvest and Bulmers Indian Summer launch next month, when two additions to the Foster’s Radler low-alcohol beer brand also roll out - a lime & ginger flavour and a non-alcoholic variant.
Heineken said it aimed to transform the market by leading development of the “lower-alcohol moderation” category. Up 62.4% year on year to £45m [IRI 52 w/e 4 January 2014], the sector could account for 5% of beer and cider sales in 10 years, it claimed.
“An increasing number of consumers want to make informed choices on alcoholic strength preferences, which will often differ from occasion to occasion,” said off-trade MD Martin Porter. “Despite growing demand, lower-alcohol options are relatively limited, and our new variants have been created to offer a wider choice.”
Bulmers Five Fruit Harvest is an “easy-drinking” cider made with apple, pear, plum, quince and grape; while Indian Summer is made with apples and “a hint” of ginger and cardamom. Sold in 568ml single bottles, they are designed to appeal to 18 to 34-year-olds and are targeted at midweek and after work.
Foster’s Radler made its debut last March with a 2% abv blend of Foster’s lager and lemon, and is being expanded with a 2% abv lime & ginger variant. Both will be available in bottles and 440ml cans, being added to the Radler range for the first time. These roll out in March alongside Foster’s Radler 0.0% abv, a bottled non-alcoholic Foster’s and lemon mix.
Heineken recommends stocking the new lines in a “clearly signposted” lower-abv section.
While mid-strength ciders of around 2.5% abv are a fairly large market in Europe, there is a currently a very limited range of low-abv ciders available in the UK.