magners dark fruit cider

Magners Dark Fruit is set to hit Asda stores and online retailers from January.

Launched as a challenger to Strongbow Dark Fruit’s domination of the cider market, the 4% abv drink is billed as tasting of “jammy berries and sharp blackcurrants” (rsp: £12/10x440ml). It rolled out in November to selected convenience stores and Costco, having hit the Scottish on-trade last April.

The wider rollout would “instill our place within the category, both with new and loyal consumers” said Magners marketing manager Janette Murray.

It marks a surprise return to flavoured ciders for Magners, which axed its entire portfolio of flavoured drinks in June 2016 to focus on Original. At the time, the brand’s sales had taken a significant dive, and were down 10.8% year on year as rivals Kopperberg and Strongbow grew share [IRI 52 w/e 26 March 2016].  

Now the brand commands a strong position in the cider market, with sales of Original growing 5.3% (£2.5m) to £49.4m over the last 12 months [Nielsen 52 w/e 9 September 2017].

However, its NPD is likely to face stiff competition from the Heineken-owned Strongbow Dark Fruit, which grew value sales by 24% (£16.6m) to £94.4m over the past year [Nielsen].