Heineken UK is bringing ­­­­­­­its 280-year-old premium cider Symonds Founder's Reserve from the on-trade and into the off-trade to cash in on growing consumer enthusiasm for niche, heritage ciders.

Symonds (rsp: £1.80) will go into Asda this week as part of the retailer's Cider Festival, which is running until the middle of August.

Made from Herefordshire bittersweet cider apples to provide a more complex flavour, the 5.5% abv premium cider would meet a "rapid growth in demand for niche ciders", said Michael Hardy, trading ­director for Jygsaw Brands, which handles marketing and sales for Heineken UK's heritage beers and ­ciders.

"Much has been made ­­­­­­­­­­­of the heritage of premium ­lager brands such as Kronenbourg 1664 and Heineken, and this approach has now been taken with premium cider brands like Symonds Founder's Reserve where we have built upon the brand's strong heritage of being a cider of distinction from Herefordshire," said Hardy.

Sales of cider have jumped 14.5% to £465.6m [Kantar Worldpanel, 52 w/e 18 April 2010].