Source: Heineken

Heineken: “We still believe that this brand has big potential”

Heineken UK is relaunching its Bulmers Orchard Pioneers duo of premium ciders after the brand failed to gain significant traction since hitting shelves in 2017.

The two ciders have moved from 500ml to 330ml bottles, with a completely new design. Their names have been changed from Kier’s Cloudy Apple and Sarah’s Red Apple to Green Apple and Red Apple, and the Bulmers logo has had its presence “dialled down”.

The drinks roll out into the big four this month (rsp: 4x330ml/£5).

“We still believe that this brand has big potential and the liquid is phenomenal but we perhaps got the packaging wrong,” said Heineken category and shopper marketing director Toby Lancaster. “Cider used to be a big bottle-based market but it is moving away from that. You don’t see people swigging from a big 500ml bottle any more. This will add value and trade consumers up again.

“When we launched Orchard Pioneers in 2017 we were in the midst of a changing consumer landscape with apple cider in particular need of some refreshment,” he added.

“Categories like continental premium lager have driven these changes, so we saw the opportunity to push the cider category forward in the same manner. Therefore, this year we have decided to revolutionise the design and format of Orchard Pioneers to reflect these new consumer demands.

The news comes after a solid year for Heineken in cider. It racked up an extra £22.9m across Old Mout, Scrumpy Jack and Strongbow for the year ending 8 September 2018, aided by the World Cup and the hot summer weather [Nielsen].