Stella to launch cider brand

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB Inbev) is to launch a cider brand under the Stella Artois brand name to tap into the growing popularity of the drink.

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Stella “Cidre”, billed as a “premium crafted Belgian cider”, will be sold in pint bottles and cans in the off-trade from Easter.

The cider category is growing in the UK at a time when alcohol consumption and beer sales in particular, are declining.

Value sales of cider grew 60% to £2.2bn between 2005 and 2010, according to Mintel.

Stella Cidre will compete with premium cider brands such as C&C Group’s Magners and Kopparberg.

The move is the latest attempt by AB Inbev to exploit the Stella Artois brand. Stella Artois 4% launched in 2008 and has been credited with helping to revive sales of the beer in the UK. The brewer has since launched Stella Artois Black.

In a statement, the brewer says that Stella Cidre reflects the master brand’s “premium nature, quality, craft and heritage”.

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