Strongbow in £10m Pear cider launch

Heineken UK is to extend its Strongbow brand for the first time with the launch of a pear variant as it looks to exploit the increasing popularity of flavoured ciders.

Strongbow Pear

Strongbow Pear, a “refreshing and distinctive” cider the brewer claims, will be available in the on and off trade from next month. It will be backed by a £10m marketing campaign, created by St.Luke’s, in August.

Heineken is hoping to exploit the popularity of the Strongbow brand, the UK’s biggest cider by sales volume and value, to grow the cider category. Cider sales are growing but are still under represented in the Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) – beer, larger and cider – sector, it claims.

Sanjay Patel, director for cider brands at Heineken, which also brews Bulmer’s, says:  “Led by Strongbow, everyday draught ciders continue to outperform the LAD sector.

“Nevertheless, cider is still under-developed in both the on and off trade  sectors, where the category enjoys just a 10% volume share of  total on-trade LADs and a  21% volume share of  total off- trade LADs sales.”

Strongbow Pear joins the recently introduced Stella Artois Cidre Pear in launching into the increasingly competitive flavoured cider category. Both follow the same route as rival premium cider producers Magners and Kopparberg in launching cider variants. Bulmer’s Pear launched in 2007.

The drink, which will be available on-draft and in bottles and cans, will carry the recently unveiled new Strongbow brand identity.