Scottish & Newcastle is aiming to bring women into the cider category with the launch of a low-calorie variant of Bulmers Original.
Bulmers Light will have the same alcohol by volume (abv) of 4.5% as Original, but with 30% fewer calories. The move follows the launch of a light variant from rival brand Magners. It was the first line extension from Magners and it will be backed by an ad campaign this summer.
The launch of Bulmers Light is part of a £20m investment behind the Bulmers brand this year, to include TV.
S&N is also introducing a new variant to the Strongbow range with the launch of Jacques Orchard Fruits, a sparkling cider with an abv of 5.5%. It will be launched in two bottle sizes, a 750ml bottle to share and a 250ml bottle aimed at women. It will also receive a heavyweight support campaign.
S&N UK consumer marketing manager Graeme McKenzie says: “Our research indicates that Bulmers Light appeals to a growing number of males and females who are conscious of the role alcohol can play in a healthy lifestyle.
“Jacques Orchard Fruits builds on the growing trend for cider over ice and is aimed at young professional females who prefer a more refreshing alternative to wine.”
Meanwhile, the City this week is expecting Anheuser-Busch to launch a last-ditch counter-offer for S&N, after it agreed a £7.8bn takeover bid from Carlsberg and Heineken.