Scottish & Newcastle is looking to tap into the burgeoning premium cider category with the launch of Finnish brand Upcider Pear.
The 4.5% ABV cider will be launched in “select” on-and off-trade retailers in 500ml glass bottles next month. It will be aimed at men and women aged between 25 and 49 years old and positioned as an “over ice” drink. It wants to target those currently drinking white or rosé wines or spirit mixers.
It will be backed by marketing support, including point-of-sale, but no above-the-line advertising is planned as yet.
S&N UK ciders marketing manager Steve Mosey says the launch will create more choice in a growth sector and add interest to a high margin sector.
According to Mintel, cider sales increased by 16% between 2005 and 2006 to an estimated £1.5bn.
The brand will sit alongside S&N’s existing cider portfolio, which includes Bulmers, Strongbow, Scrumpy Jack and Woodpecker.
Earlier this year, the brewer announced it was increasing its marketing investment in the cider portfolio by 50%, ahead of the crucial summer months (MW March 15).
The £45m investment marks S&N’s biggest spend in the sector, with £27m being spent on the market leading Strongbow brand.
Upcider was launched in Finland in 2000 by Hartwall, the beer, cider and soft drinks company owned by S&N.
Finns drink on average ten litres of cider per year, making Finland the second-biggest cider-consuming country per capita in the world.