The cider category is set for a huge push in the off-trade this summer, as three brands announced details of their 2007 marketing strategies this week.
Scottish & Newcastle UK released details of a £27m investment in Strongbow.
The Gaymer Cider Company will spend £4m on a campaign for its Gaymers Original brand and will launch a pack format exclusively for the off-trade.
And Brothers Drinks also announced an on-pack promotion for its pear cider - as part of its sponsorship of Glastonbury festival.
Gaymers Original is launching a 500ml pack for the off-trade. "With can sales overall growing at 21% the launch of cans was the next logical step to meet demand for home drinking," said MD John Mills.
The brand will receive a packaging upgrade that will appear in May, in time for the launch of the campaign in June. It will continue to use the As Good As It Gets strapline. Gaymers will spend £26m across all its cider brands this year, Mills confirmed.
Brothers Drinks is also focusing on the off-trade, running an on-pack promotion offering consumers the chance to win VIP tickets to Glastonbury's music festival."The chance to win tickets will be highly prised as organisers of the festival have installed a new photo ID registering service to prevent unlawful ticket sales by touts," said Brothers Drinks co-founder Matthew Showering. The packs go into Asda early next month.
S&N UK declined to give details of its off-trade promotions for this year but said a new TV campaign was part of a larger £27m investment for Strongbow.
"The new proposition for this ad campaign focuses on Strongbow's refreshment qualities," said Stephen Mosey, marketing manager at S&N UK.
Strongbow grew 15% by volume last year, taking 31% of off-trade cider sales, according to Nielsen.
Off-trade activity for Magners, the fastest-growing brand in the category, has yet to be announced.