Aspall eyes ‘wine-like’ premium postioning

Aspall has outlined a long-term brand communications platform strategy to help its cider brand be seen as a “viable alternative” to wine with meals in pubs and restaurants.

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The cider producer is revamping its digital platform with the aim of encouraging repeat visits to the site after admitting that its digital strategy has failed to do so in the past.

The portal includes a new seasonal recipe section, which aims to inspire people to cook with its vinegar and cider ranges as well as hosting an integrated social media news feed that keeps users up-to-date with Aspall’s latest campaigns on Twtter and Facebook.

Henry Chevallier Guild, Aspall director, says association with food is a cornerstone of its strategy to drive its “super premium” positioning and set itself apart from other brewers that focus on sport and music sponsorship.

He adds: “We’ve got a whole campaign about getting food matchings and taking cider away from being drunk by the pint. We want to start saying to people when you actually choose a meal in a pub and you’re thinking about a wine, why not go for something English, which actually has all the character and complexity of the wine you’re drinking.

“You can’t say all those things in 2 minute [ad] spot or on a piece of paper. One of the things we see social media being used for by us is to start that conversation up and then sit back and let our visitors share our content within their social networks.”

Chevallier Guild adds that the next stage of the campaign is to encourage more food lovers to upload their own recipes to the portal.

Aspall, which saw its export business rise 55% in the year to March 2012, is hoping the digital drive will allow it to capitalise on cider’s growing popularity in the UK. UK cider sales increased 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.

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