The new Orwell’s, with ABV of 5.5%, combines a crisp apple background with a refreshing blend of amaretto notes and a hint of cherry.
It will be available in 330ml brown glass bottles in the on-trade from June, tapping into interest from people aged 18 to 30 in spirits and flavoured cider.
SHS Drinks, which also distributes Merrydown cider, believes the newly-emerging spirit-flavoured cider or “spider” market could be worth £50 million by 2018.
With a suggested on-trade retail price point of £3.80, the brand has the strapline of “The traditionally untraditional cider”.
A summer launch campaign will include in-venue sampling, menu support and branded merchandise such as bar runners, ice buckets, and back- bar display stands.
It will also feature a selection of point-of-sale materials including tent cards and posters featuring lines such as “Amaretto?! Go on. Try it. Seriously. It’s Amazing”, and “It tastes SOOO GOOOD you’ll wonder why it’s never been done before”.
Above-the-line advertising, sponsorships and promotions are planned for later in the year as part of a phased roll-out for the new brand.
Mark Hopper, head of innovation and development at SHS Drinks, said: “There’s a huge amount of consumer interest in cider, with almost two-thirds of the adult population now including cider in their drinks repertoire.
“Flavoured cider is now the biggest sector accounting for almost half (47%) of on-trade premium packaged cider sales, and with flavoured cider sales up 10%, it’s also been the powerhouse of the category during the past year.
“This demonstrates that there is still plenty of ‘stretch’ within the cider category to accommodate this new spirit cider sector which brings together two categories which are both credible and highly motivating for consumers, and we’ve also seen the impact that spirit-flavoured beers have had in revitalising the premium packaged lager (PPL) category.
“Also this blurring and cross-over of categories isn’t just confined to alcohol drinks: we’re seeing it throughout the FMCG market from chocolate=flavoured cheese to pizza burgers.”
SHS has also introduced the Dead Crow spirit-flavoured beer range, starting with beers flavoured with rum and bourbon.
“Entering the spider category is not something we have rushed into as it’s been important for us to create an exciting and motivating flavour profile which pushes the boundaries and is a little unusual.
“We’ve been developing Orwell’s and have been talking to customers about the spiders opportunity for around a year. During this time we have been fine-tuning the balance of the flavours, whilst also gaining valuable consumer and market insights from the launch of our bourbon and rum-flavoured spirit beers.
“Orwell’s has been well received in consumer taste tests and we believe this hybrid spirit cider combination will extend cider consumption into new occasions as it is more likely to be purchased for higher-energy, brand-in-hand social occasions than the mellower, lower-key social occasions usually associated with cider.
“It is always our intention to bring true innovation that adds value to the market.”
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