Strongbow unveils Rose Apple hard cider
New flavor to attract rose wine drinkers to hard cider category
Strongbow Hard Ciders, a brand of White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken USA, announced its newest flavor, Rosé Apple, a semi-dry hard cider with a touch of red fleshed apples. With a light, refreshing and fruity taste and 5 percent alcohol by volume, this newest addition to Strongbow’s line is reminiscent of a Rosé wine but with only 10 grams of sugars in an 11.2-ounce bottle, the company says.
Developed to capitalize on 45 percent year-on-year growth in Rosé wine sales, according to Nielsen data for the 52 weeks ending Aug. 13, 2017, Strongbow Rosé Apple, along with all Strongbow products, contains no artificial flavors or colors and is available in the following packaging options: six-packs of 11.2-ounce bottles; the Strongbow variety 12-pack; and, for a limited time, 5.1-ounce mini-cans, the company says.
“With Strongbow outpacing the cider category three years in a row, and with a 52 percent purchase intent for Rosé Apple, the new flavor will ride the wave of booming Rosé wine sales and offer cider consumers a truly unique, refreshing taste alternative with only 10 grams of sugar and 137 calories per bottle. We are confident that consumers of both cider and rosé wine will respond positively to this product feature,” said Jessica Robinson, vice president of portfolio brands, citing Nielsen total off-premise data for 2015, 2016 and 2017.
“Our research tells us that 66 percent of wine drinkers aged 22-39 years who try cider become cider drinkers, with 36 percent becoming monthly cider drinkers,” added Robinson, who was involved in the development of the new flavor, citing Kantar TNS data for 2016. “Strongbow has a huge conversion opportunity with this new flavor,”
Strongbow is supporting the launch of Rosé Apple with massive, limited-time only spring and fall offers of four-pack mini-cans to drive trial and awareness of the new flavor. During March and April 2017, Strongbow mini-cans drove the highest return on sales of any item in the hard cider category, with 64 percent of mini-can buyers being new to the cider category, the company says citing InfoScount Panel data from April 2017. The launch of Rosé Apple also will be supported with a full range of mail-in rebate and instant redeemable coupon offers, including co-purchase with Heineken and produce, and with Strongbow purchase only, it says. A full visibility program at retail will be supported by new, impactful point-of-sale elements and Heineken and Strongbow co-displays. A Mother’s Day display program in grocery stores will pair Rosé Apple with flowers to mark the special occasion, it adds.
Rosé Apple will simultaneously replace Strongbow Orange Blossom in the 12-bottle Strongbow Variety Pack, alongside Strongbow Artisanal Blend, Strongbow Gold Apple, and Strongbow Cherry Blossom, the company says. The same four flavors will be offered in the four-pack mini-cans. All flavors in the new Variety Pack are gluten-free and sold in 11.2-ounce bottles.