Blog: Andy MortonHeineken plays 'hard' ball in US cider

Andy Morton | 12 April 2016

You would be forgiven for thinking that the US cider boom is over. Sales growth of as much as 90% in the past few years has shrunk to double figures. Add to that the continued emergence of the hard soda category (Boston Beer Co this month even launched a hard seltzer - basically alcoholic water) and the future doesn't look bright.

Nobody, however, told Heineken.

The Dutch giant, in an interview with Business Insider this week, threw its considerable weight behind the US cider category, with Ronald den Elzen, Heineken USA's CEO, saying: “We are placing a big bet. We are big believers in cider.”

One could argue that a company that owns heavyweight cider brand Strongbow can do little else. And double-digit growth is not to be sniffed at, no matter what heights cider scaled before.

Still, it's good to see a company stick to its brands and not run for the hard soda hills as Boston Beer and Anheuser-Busch InBev appear to have done. Let's see if Heineken can continue to resist the temptation.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Heineken

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