Three years after launch, Inch’s retail sales already exceed £30m

Heineken-owned cider brand Inch’s appears to be gearing up to launch a hazy variant.

The Dutch drinks giant – via its Bulmers cider unit – has applied to register trademarks for the terms ‘Inch’s Hazy’ and ‘Inch’s Hazy Apple Cider’ with the Intellectual Property Office under class 32 and 33 marks.

The marks applied for cover alcoholic beverages including cider, perry, beer, wines and spirits.

“We are always looking at ways to grow our portfolio of leading beer and cider brands and will often explore a range of avenues as part of this innovation process,” a spokesman for Heineken UK told The Grocer. 

Inch’s, introduced by Heineken in 2021, has been one of the standout performers in a challenging cider category, having added £12.5m on volumes up 42% [NIQ 52 w/e 20 January 2024].

Over the same period, total cider volumes fell 7.3%, with the category only mustering an additional £16.5m in sales.

Presently, Inch’s makes just one cider – a 4.5% abv medium apple variant.

A move into hazy would put Inch’s up against fellow Heineken stablemate Strongbow, which already makes a Cloudy Apple cider, and independent producer Thatchers, which added a hazy variant in 2015.

Thatchers Haze is the eighth-largest cider in UK retail, with sales of £36.7m [NIQ].

The trademark move comes after Heineken last month drew ire from environmentalists over its decision to chop down a 300-acre cider apple orchard in Monmouthshire, Wales.

Heineken said waning interest in cider had left it with “a huge surplus of apples” that had “no other use than creating cider”.

BBC presenter Chris Packham, however, described the brewer as an “environmental vandal” for razing the site, which was home to a significant number of migratory birds.

Inch’s itself lays claim to be a sustainable cider brand, with apples used to produce it grown within 40 miles of its mill in Herefordshire. Apple waste from making Inch’s is repurposed and turned into renewable energy.

If you’ve got a fantastic new product or packaging innovation, we want to hear about it! The deadline for The Grocer New Product & Packaging Awards is 17 June, so get your entries in. Visit to enter, buy tickets or to enquire about sponsorship opportunities.