in the cider market A new national cider brand has been unveiled by Matthew Clark. After tests last year in Tyne Tees it is bringing out Red C in 440ml cans and two litre PETs. This is the first major brand launch in cans in the long drinks sector since the mid 1990s. Red C is part of development work being carried out by Matthew Clark, which is benefiting from the added muscle of its new US parent company Canandaigua. Red C is designed to fill a gap in its range for a sweet cider. The sector is dominated by Woodpecker which has been growing 4% in volume and 12% in value. Marketing director Keith McIlwain said the category lacked innovation and brand investment. "People are moving back to sweeter products such as premium packaged spirits and with this we can bring new users into the cider market." Such was the success in Tyne Tees, Matthew Clark has brought the national launch of Red C forward and is spending £1.3m on it this year. It is going into cash and carries this month and into the multiple grocers after that. Matthew Clark is also bringing out K6, a derivative of its premium strength K cider. For this it has reduced the strength from 8.4% to 6%. McIlwain said the high strength of K was too much for some. It is launching K6 in bottles only this month and is withdrawing the bottled version of the original K. The Diamond White range is being extended to include Diamond Red ­ a 5.4% abv cider with added taurine and caffeine. The introduction of Diamond Red recognises the success of energy drinks such as Red Bull and the nightclub trend of adding a vodka to them to give them an extra kick. To prevent controversy, Matthew Clark has ensured its product complies with all the Portman Group regulations relating to alcoholic energy drinks. The brand is going straight to national launch this month. McIlwain said: "We have taken a step back from the cider market and examined consumer behaviour ­ what they drink and when. Consumers are less brand and product loyal. Offering a breadth of choice rather than focusing on a single brand is clearly the way forward." {{DRINKS }}