Heineken UK has withdrawn its White Lightning cider just months after relaunching the brand as a “responsible” alternative to cheaper super-strength white cider drinks.
The brewer reduced the alcohol strength of the white cider from 7.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) to 5.5% in May but has now scrapped the brand after accepting that its attempt to improve the image of the white cider category has failed.
It has also previously removed all extra-fill promotions and three litre packs across its higher strength cider products in a bid to “combat growing public concern about the role of the white cider category”.
Heineken says it will concentrate its efforts on premium and mainstream ciders such as its Bulmers, Strongbow and Jacques brands.
Mark Gerken, sales managing director for the off trade at Heineken UK, says: “In these tough trading times categories like premium cider offer better, more sustainable profit opportunities for retailers and they should devote enough space to the brand leaders.”