The company revealed it was working on several projects involving premium brand extensions to existing offerings and completely new brands, aimed at bringing new consumers into the category.
Paul Stanger, customer marketing director for Scottish Courage Brands, said: “We’re aware the category needs innovation and we’re conscious of what a number of producers are doing in specialities.
“They are creating points for the consumer to engage with the category and in the end we have to be part of that.”
ScotCo, which acquired market-leader Strongbow from Bulmers last year, plans to scrap extra-free deals on Strongbow, White Lightning, Woodpecker and Symonds Original in an attempt to promote responsible drinking (The Grocer, September 11, p66).
The company is planning tailormade activity across all trade channels for Hallowe’en on Strongbow, and sees a natural link between the celebration and apples.
Stanger added: “We have done a lot in the past couple of years with Foster’s on Australia Day and we think that linking Strongbow with Hallowe’en can be at least as big as that.”
ScotCo is also aiming to build on the success of the Peter Kay ads for John Smith’s Extra Smooth with two new commercials before Christmas.
The company claims to have become the clear off-trade leader in ale after overtaking Boddingtons late last year.
ScotCo’s off-trade sales managing director, Keith Hogg, said: “The success has been the result of being prepared to invest in ales and modernise its image as far as the consumer is concerned.”