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    HEINEKEN UK launches campaign to help retailers with cider sales

    HEINEKEN UK, the UK’s largest cider maker with a 27.8 per cent share of the market, has launched a new campaign to help retailers maximise cider sales this summer.

    The campaign “Explore A Wider World of Cider” is being activated across select convenience stores, grocery and wholesalers, live until August 2024. The campaign will be brought to life through a series of in-store and in-depot activations, aiming to keep the category front-of-mind for shoppers throughout the summer.

    The UK cider market is worth £1.1bn – in grocery, this figure sits at £689m, and in convenience at £384m, presenting an excellent opportunity for retailers to grow sales by stocking up on bestselling and much-loved cider brands, many of which are a part of HEINEKEN UK’s leading portfolio, including Strongbow, Old Mout, Inch’s and Bulmers.

    Strongbow Original, Strongbow Dark Fruit and Inch’s, in particular, all have strong brand recognition and a loyal customer base, with value shares of 12 per cent, 7.2 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively These brands also offer shoppers a range of flavours to explore – ranging from apple to citrus and berry varieties.

    Rachel Holms, Cider Brand Director at HEINEKEN UK, comments, “We’re excited to launch this campaign, bringing our full portfolio of cider brands together for the first time. The diversity among the brands demonstrates how much opportunity there is for retailers to tap into – from classic apple ciders to exciting flavours, premium options and even alcohol-free alternatives, available at various price points and in a full range of formats.

    “With cider drinkers more likely to buy into the category when tempted by innovation, and the appeal of a new flavour from their favourite brand, it’s important for retailers to offer their shoppers a full range of choice. No matter the occasion, whether it’s festivals, sporting events, barbecues or celebrations, the Wider World of Cider activation ensures retailers can meet those needs and maximise the sales opportunity.

    “While having a diverse range helps to boost appeal with shoppers, with so much variety in the category, it can be hard for retailers to know where to start when refreshing their cider range. There are many factors to consider – for example, the flavour profile, brand heritage, sustainability credentials, formats, price point, level of premium, and ABV strength. By shining a light on the whole category, we want to spotlight the choices available and encourage retailers to explore their shoppers’ varying needs and demonstrate the breadth of choice available to help meet them.”

    When it comes to bestselling brands, Strongbow commands a 20 per cent market share in the total cider category, being the number one cider brand in the total market in volume and value sales.

    HEINEKEN UK introduced Strongbow Zest this year to tap into that demand for variety and help recruit new consumers into the cider category. Strongbow Zest is an apple cider blended with lime, lemon and orange flavours, and contains no artificial flavours, sweeteners, or colours, and is suitable for vegan diets, being gluten-free. Strongbow Zest joins Strongbow Tropical, which was crowned Product of the Year and the number one cider innovation in 2023[6].

    Inch’s is the apple cider brand that grew the most share in the off trade in 2023 and this is a clear sign that shoppers are looking for quality as well as accessible pricing options to help. A mix of mainstream and premium will overall help stores encourage purchases and facilitate trade up and a bigger basket spend overall.

    While people may be spending less and cutting down on large expenditures such as holidays amid the rising cost of living, retailers can still expect them to indulge in smaller luxuries. Premium cider options such Old Mout and more mainstream lines like Inch’s can help to tap into this, with HEINEKEN UK also identifying key opportunities in heritage and premium berry ciders, which are both attractive from a price perspective.

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