By Andy Young
Carlton and United Breweries are looking to bring growth into the cider category with the launch of Pure Blonde Apple Cider.
The new cider contains 60 per cent less sugar and 50 per cent less carbs than regular cider and will be launching nationally across the on- and off-premise throughout September. CUB’s marketing director Richard Oppy said the company had seen the how the sugar backlash had impacted carbonated soft drinks and that the perception of high sugar content in cider was a barrier for many consumers, so by launching Pure Blonde Apple Cider, they were hoping to tap into the 4.3 million Australians who are open to drinking cider, but aren’t currently buying it.
“Pure Blonde beer for the last five years has been in double digit decline,” Oppy told TheShout. “Then we relaunched Pure Blonde as ultra low-carb, with 80 per cent less carbs than regular beer and 50 per cent less calories than wine, and for the last 12 months it has been in plus 20 per cent growth. That is a massive turnaround off a big base, and it really shows that the health and wellbeing trend is as important today as it has ever been.
“I would argue that it is more important these days, with social media and selfies and people being conscious of the way they look it has been amplified. I think the most pleasing thing is not only has it turned around in sales, but we’ve now got 58 per cent more females drinking Pure Blonde today compared to 12 months ago. So really bringing more females into the beer category to improve the total beer category.”
Oppy told TheShout that the positive reaction to Pure Blonde Ultra made CUB realise there was room for a similar play with Pure Blonde Cider.
He added: “When it comes to the cider it was always Strongbow as the main player, then Rekorderlig came along with the really sweet style of cider, that particularly the 18 to 24 year olds love. Then Somersby came along with a great tasting cider that was affordable in the 10-packs in particular.
“Where we want to play is that there are 4.3 million considerers who consider cider, but don’t drink cider today. If you dig into the reasons why, for a number of them, they will say that cider is full of sugar, and we’ve seen the impact that’s had with carbonated soft drinks, and it is also a barrier to cider.
“So we’ve come out with what we think is a great tasting cider that has 60 per cent less sugar than your regular cider. It is still sweet, but slightly drier in style and really refreshing cider and so hopefully it will pick up a lot of those considerers to really inject some growth into the cider category.
“It will go on draught and in pack, trade-wide on-premise and off-premise. It’s the same bottle and pack sizes as Pure Blonde and the same alcohol content at 4.2 per cent ABV. “
The new cider will officially launch on Friday 16 September and with cider commanding higher revenue than beer CUB is confident the new cider will help drive growth in the overall cider category.