Scottish Courage is poised to launch a premium cider into the off and on-trades as part of its offensive to capture a greater share of the cider category.
The company is rolling out the red cider to wholesalers later this month in two different sized bottles.
The product will be aimed at younger consumers and “tastes better over ice”, according to David Ashcroft, ScotCo’s trading director for the wholesale channel.
The description is a conscious nod in the direction of rival Irish cider brand Magners, which has just been launched.
“It’s triple-filtered for a smoother taste,” said Ashcroft,
who unveiled details of the product at the Federation of Wholesalers’ annual Drinksummit conference in Stratford-upon-Avon this week.
He said the move signalled ScotCo’s renewed faith in the
potential of the cider market. “It has gone from a category on the brink of crisis to a category that is now bearing fruit within the past two years.”
The launch was concrete evidence of ScotCo’s determination to build cider sales. “In summer 2003 we acquired Bulmers,” said Ashcroft. “And we established a vision to lead the rejuvenation of the cider category.”
He hailed it as a “real and present opportunity” to boost cider sales and said ScotCo’s aim was to capture lapsed consumers and attract new ones, particularly in the 18 to 24-year-old category.
ScotCo said the off-trade cider market was now back in growth after a two-year slump.
Ashcroft said ScotCo wanted to follow a successful Hallowe’en promotion for Strongbow last year with a bigger push for the same period this year.
Rod Addy