Carling takes on Stella with premium cider launch

Molson Coors is looking to replicate the success of Stella Artois Cidre by expanding flagship lager brand Carling into the growing premium cider category.

Carling cider

Carling British Cider will be available in retailers in 500ml and 275ml bottles from March. It will be backed by a £4.5m marketing campaign trumpeting the drink’s “fantastic golden colour” and “crisp taste”.

Carling is looking to exploit the growing cider market and offset the decline in beer sales. According to industry data experts CGA, cider sales grew 9 per cent to £869m in the year to 13 October 2012. More Britons claim to be cider drinkers now (47 per cent) than lager drinkers (46 per cent), according to a 2012 study by Mintel.

Molson Coors will also be looking to replicate the success AB Inbev has enjoyed with Stella Artois Cidre since it launched in 2011. Nielsen data cited by The Grocer says sales of the premium cider doubled year on year to £58.8m in the 12 months to 13 October, making it the UK’s second biggest selling cider brand.

Jeremy Gibson, Carling brand director, claims name recognition offers Carling British Cider a chance to be similarly successful: “Following 30 years of success for Carling, we are entering a growing cider market using the strongest brand name in the industry,” he adds.

The cider is the latest Carling extension launched by Molson Coors following last year’s citrus flavoured Zest and Carling lower ABV premium lager Carling Chrome.

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