Drinks giant Heineken has revealed plans to launch a new cider in the Irish market in the coming weeks, in a bid to challenge market leader Bulmers.
The brewing company introduced Orchard Thieves cider in Ireland three years ago, and the brand now has a market share of around 12%. However, speaking to the Sunday Independent, Maggie Timoney, managing director of Heineken Ireland, said that she is confident that the company can gain an even greater market share in the cider category.
"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 Timoney, "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."
A new-product launch from Heineken could come as a blow to C&C Group, which produces cider brands Bulmers and Outcider.
In a trading update earlier this month, the company said that it is anticipating a fall in profits in its full-year results, partly due to 'competitive pressures' in the Irish market.
The drinks group said that the trading environment in Ireland remains highly competitive, both within long alcoholic drinks and other categories.
Bulmers saw volumes and market share grow in the off-trade segment last year, however, in the on-trade business, Bulmers' brand volumes went down by 6%, as the overall cider category declined by 1%.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.