Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders, a brand of White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken USA, unveiled its newest flavor and is ushering in the autumn apple season with Strongbow Artisanal Blend.
The new flavor is crafted with heirloom cider apple varieties, cold-pressed and blended together for a naturally refreshing, semi-sweet taste, the company says. Strongbow Artisanal Blend, like all Strongbow products, contains no artificial flavors or colors and will become available in September in six-packs of glass bottles, variety 12-packs, variety 24-packs and limited-edition mini-can four-packs.
"We are greeting autumn with the newest edition to the Strongbow family of hard ciders and are excited to share Strongbow Artisanal Blend with our loyal consumers and new cider drinkers across the U.S.," said Jessica Robinson, vice president of portfolio brands, who was involved in the development of the new flavor, in a statement.
“With strong momentum behind the brand, Strongbow is growing plus-12 points ahead of the category, Artisanal Blend is sure to delight consumers and drive even greater sales growth," Robinson continued, citing Nielsen data. “Its unique blend of heirloom apple varieties results in a refreshing semi-sweet taste that, in product testing, 78 percent of consumers said they would buy. Strongbow is the No. 2-selling hard cider brand in the U.S., and along with all its award-winning flavors, Gold Apple was recognized as the Best Tasting Hard Cider for two years in a row at the World Cider Championships.”
A massive consumer sampling of four-pack mini-cans at a suggested retail price of $1 will start in September to drive trial and awareness of the new flavor and bring new drinkers to the cider category, the company says.
In addition, the launch will be supported by a year-long national TV advertising campaign, along with digital and public relations, and in-store merchandising to heighten visibility. Artisanal Blend also will be available in six-packs and will simultaneously replace Strongbow Honey in the 12-bottle Strongbow Variety Pack, alongside Strongbow Orange Blossom, Strongbow Gold Apple and Strongbow Cherry Blossom. The same four flavors will be offered in the four-pack of mini-cans. Strongbow Artisanal Blend is best served over ice, and consumers are encouraged to experiment with mixing Strongbow with other natural flavors to create delicious drinks like a bespoke Artisanal Blend Mojito, the company says.
All flavors in the new variety pack are gluten-free and sold in 11.2-ounce bottles. Strongbow Gold Apple and Strongbow Honey are 5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), Strongbow Orange Blossom and Strongbow Cherry Blossom are 4.5 percent ABV, and Artisanal Blend is 6 percent ABV.