Dutch drinks giant Heineken is planning to roll out a new cider brand, which is set to put further pressure on an already declining cider market, according to the Sunday Independent.
The company already produces Orchard Thieves, which entered the market three years ago and has since risen to taking up 12% of the market share.
Meanwhile, the other major player in Irish cider, Bulmers-owner C&C, has already lost ground to Heineken’s incursion. In its newest financial update, C&C said that the Irish trading environment remains “highly competitive both within long alcoholic drinks and from other categories”.
Bulmers experienced a volume decrease of about 6% for the 12 months to 28 February 2018, in an overall cider category decline of 1%, due to the loss of on-trade draught distribution points, according to the trading update.
Gaining Market Share
Maggie Timoney, Heineken Ireland’s managing director, told the paper that she was confident her company could gain an even greater market share in cider.
"We think that there's still not a lot of choice in cider in Ireland and we want to ensure that we can offer more choice to the Irish consumer,” she said. So we're going to continue to innovate in cider and offer that choice, and we will launch a new cider in the next two to three weeks.”
The new product would be “a very balanced cider, so not too sweet, not too dry,” according to Timoney, however, she declined to reveal the name of the new brand.
Orchard Thieves Success
She also said that the company was impressed by the strong growth of Orchard Thieves.
”We invested a lot of money, but it did exceed our expectations and we still have a lot of work to do on that. It's a young brand,” she said.
The Dutch brewer recently launched its low-alcohol beer Heineken 0.0, a growing category in Ireland.
“It is a launch to satisfy a consumer need that is absolutely there if you look at the consumer trends globally, and even Ireland, moderation, health and wellness, are key trends,” she said.
"As trends continue to move in the positive direction for low and no alcohol, I think retailers and publicans will be forced to offer more choice," she added.
© 2018 - Checkout Magazine by Kevin Duggan