The launch of Cidre Pear sees AB Inbev follow the same route as rival premium cider producers Magners and Kopparberg in launching cider variants.
The brewer will be hoping to build on the success of Stella Artois Cidre, which launched last March and is now second to Magners in premium cider retail sales, according to Nielsen data.
It is also aimed at tapping into the growing cider category. UK cider sales grew from £1.7bn to £2.4bn between 2006 and 2011, according to Mintel, the only major alcohol category to have grown its user base over the past five years.
James Watson, Stella Artois’s European marketing director says: “We are absolutely delighted with the success of Stella Artois Cidre and it is our intention to continue to innovate to give choice to our consumers, and growth opportunities for our customers.
“With the premium credentials of Stella Artois, the proven success of Stella Artois Cidre and the research results we have seen for Stella Artois Cidre Pear, we anticipate our new variant will give further boost to the cider category and delight our consumers.”
It will be available in pubs and clubs later this month and in 568ml single bottle and six bottle cases in supermarkets and convenience stores form June.
The launch will be backed by a summer marketing campaign.