Heineken to pull White Lightning cider brand

Heineken UK has withdrawn its White Lightning cider just months after relaunching it as a responsible alternative to cheaper super-strength white cider drinks.

The brewer reduced the alcohol strength of White Lightning 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 had also removed all extra-fill promotions and three-litre packs for its high-strength cider products.

Heineken says it will concentrate its efforts on premium and mainstream ciders such as Bulmers, Strongbow and Jacques.

Mark Gerken, sales managing director for the off-trade at Heineken UK, says: “In these tough trading times, categories such as premium cider offer better, more sustainable profit opportunities for retailers.”

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