Heineken signals cider expansion

Heineken has signaled its intention to expand its presence in the cider market by acquiring a Belgian cider brewer that will become the focus of its innovation efforts.

strongbow

Belgian brewer Stassen will serve as Heineken’s cider research and development centre.

The venture cements an ongoing relationship between both companies, which has already led to the development of products including Strongbow Gold and Jacques.

The value of the deal have not been disclosed.

The strategic acquisition is aimed at exploiting the growth of the international  cider category. International cider sales are not known, but UK sales jumped from £1.7bn to £2.4bn between 2006 and 2011, according to Mintel.

Alex Nasard, chief commercial officer of Heineken says consumers around the world are “increasingly intrigued by cider” and that move is aimed at exploiting the growth of the cider category.

He adds: “Stassen’s strong R&D and innovation capabilities will serve us well in a time when there is a lot of new product activity in the category.”

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