C&C Group is looking to exit the UK's white cider category, just-drinks understands.

The Ireland-based group, which inherited white cider brands such as Diamond White when it bought The Gaymer Cider Co in 2009, is believed to be lining up the withdrawal in the long term. Speaking to just-drinks earlier today (23 March), a spokesperson for C&C confirmed the move, but declined to give specific date details for withdrawal.

Heineken was the first major brewer to pull out of white cider back in 2009, when it withdrew its White Lightning brand from the market.

The spokesperson credited Heineken for taking the lead, and said that C&C will follow suit. “For us, white cider is not a long-term, sustainable product,” the spokesperson said. “It is also a small and diminishing part of our business.” The company is keener to concentrate on the premium end of the cider market in the UK, through its Magners brand.

“We will follow Heineken out (of the category) in the long term,” the spokesperson added.

The definition of white cider is broadly considered to be cider produced with culinary or desert apples, which reduces the presence of any colour.

According to the National Association of Cider Makers, white cider accounts for 0.5% of total UK alcohol by serve.

Seperately, C&C Group came out in favour of minimum pricing today, in response to a proposal by the UK government. This position was against other cider producers, with the National Association of Cider Makers speaking out against the plans