The flavour joins the brewer’s apple and pear extensions following trials of several other alternatives earlier this year. Raspberry scored higher than the apple and pear tests, according to Stella Artois with consumers favouring the former’s “authentic” taste that “isn’t too sweet”.
Stella Artois is relying on the fruiter taste to snare wine and spirits drinkers after admitting it has not done enough to push Cidre into new drinking occasions. A nationwide marketing push for the full Cidre portfolio will try to rectify this by positioning the cider as a sophisticated alternative to share with friends. A “Grande Chalice” (one pint), “Midi Chalice” (2/3 pint) and “Cidre Carafe” (2 pint) will roll out to tempt customers, particularly women, to seek it out in bars.
A TV campaign will expand on the themes of “high energy” and “sophistication” when it launches at the end of the month.
Digital activations across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter will encourage sampling alongside an outdoor campaign to highlight the Cidre brand’s new logo. The design initially appears on Raspberry bottles before extending to the other variants and has also been designed to bring it more in-line with the masterbrand.
Meanwhile, the cider maker says it is looking to introduce weather-controlled ads, first launched last summer, to sites closer to supermarkets. Last year’s efforts were successful in lifting impulse sales, the brewer adds.
Phil Pick, marketing manager for Stella Artois, says further additions to its cider roster could be on the way, adding the depth of the category, coupled with strong innovation from brands, place it in a strong position for continued growth. The demand has seen Cidre become the number one premium apple cider in the UK, he adds, while it continues to gain ground on category leaders Strongbow, Bulmers and Kopparberg.
The investment will also see Stella Artois become available on draught in select premium outlets.
Pick says the challenge for cider marketers is finding a way to stand out from the crowd with so many brands and flavours fighting for a slice of the category.
He adds: “We’ve done big piece of segmentation [work] and identified there are certain needs and states of occasions that we can tap into because we haven’t necessarily been doing so in the past. It’s those higher energy environments where people are socialising in bigger groups and looking for something fruitier that we feel there’s an opportunity for growth.
“Cider is less seasonal than a lot of people think. There’s a myth that cider is a summer drink and I actually think the category has moved on a lot. The amount of investment that we’ve seen in the market last year is testament to that perennial appeal.”
Apple cider, which pioneered the category in its infancy, is no longer the main focus for brewers. Strongbow, Carling Cider and Bulmers are experimenting with new flavours in an attempt to sustain a cooler, contemporary and stylish image over beer brands.