Scottish & Newcastle is increasing its marketing investment by 50% in the cider portfolio, as it attempts to further boost its market share in the category in the run-up to the crucial summer months.
This year the company, which owns Strongbow and Bulmers, will put £45m behind its stable of cider brands – marking S&N’s biggest spend in the sector.
Other cider brands in its portfolio include Scrumpy Jack and Woodpecker.
S&N marketing manager for ciders Stephen Mosey says/ “If you look at the total investment in the industry-wide cider category over the past five years, it has increased by eight times. The resurgence of consumer interest in cider has been huge, and we are encouraging more consumers back into this category.”
Cider sales increased 16% between 2005 and 2006 to an estimated £1.5bn, according to Mintel, with Strongbow as the category leader.
The £45m marketing investment programme includes £27m being spent on the Strongbow brand. As part of the investment, Strongbow is launching a national TV ad campaign that breaks on March 19.
Mosey says the campaign will further strengthen the brand’s lead position in the market. Strongbow grew in volume in the on-trade by 12.9%, and by 15% in the off-trade.
The new ad, created by St Luke’s, shows three men ordering two pints of lager and a pint of Strongbow. Once the drinks have been poured the lager drinkers exhale a satisfactory “A-a-a-h-h”, and so does the Strongbow drinker but he does not stop and his vocal response turns into a long gasp of satisfaction. The ad uses the strapline, “Total first pint refreshment.”