By Ian Neubauer
Vok Beverages will take on Cascade’s monopoly of the apple cider market with the launch of Three Oaks Cider, a new brand that entered production soon after the RTD tax hike came into effect last month.
Vok innovations manager, Chris Illman, said that as cider is taxed under the Wine Equalisation regime, Three Oaks offers consumers great value.
“As a result of the 70 per cent increase in excise on RTDs, cider sales have increased 25 per cent. And with only two brands representing 99 per cent of category volume, our consumer research validated that new locally produced cider brands are needed to reignite passion for the segment.”
The cider market in Australia is dominated by Strongbow and Mercury Cider, both of which are manufactured by the Cascade Brewery in Tasmania.
Vok believes it has addressed the three key barriers related to drinking cider by producing one that is not too sweet and has no lingering aftertaste. In addition, the brand imagery is not old-fashioned, with packaging reminiscent of boutique imported beers to make male drinkers feel comfortable drinking the brand.
Vok will spend in excess of $1 million to promote the brand and is in the process of briefing prospective advertising agencies with a view to announcing a long-term advertising partner next week.
Three Oaks Cider is available in original and sweet varieties.