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SHS Drinks' Merrydown Crisp Apple Cider

SHS Drinks has launched Merrydown Crisp Apple Cider and relaunched Merrydown Original Vintage Apple Cider

SHS Drinks has launched Merrydown Crisp Apple Cider and relaunched Merrydown Original Vintage Apple Cider

Category - Cider 

Available - Since late last month

Location - UK

Price - GBP2.29 (US$2.90) per 75cl bottle

SHS Drinks is joining the trend towards mid-strength-alcohol cider in the UK with the launch of the 5.5%-abv Merrydown Crisp Apple Cider. The new addition, which follows the release of the 4.5%-abv Aspall Cyder last week, targets consumer moves towards moderation, SHS said.

Crisp Apple Cider is also 30% lower in calories than Merrydown's core brands and sweetened with apple juice.

Meanwhile, SHS is overhauling its flagship Merrydown Vintage Medium brand, renaming it Merrydown Original Vintage Apple Cider. The move is an attempt to emphasise Merrydown's "heritage" credentials, SHS said, amid declining sales at the lower-value end of the UK cider market.

The company urged retailers to position Merrydown SKUs next to "heritage" ciders such as Henry Westons, Thatchers and Aspall.

In a cider report from Westons last week, market share for value brands in the UK off-premise fell by 2% in 2016 as supermarkets shunned the segment. At the same time, traditional and craft brands increased market share by 10% to account for 8% of the total UK off-premise.

SHS said Merrydown Original Vintage Apple Cider will continue to be packaged in a 75cl sharing bottle, but a change to the shape of the bottle will give it more wine cues. "Both of the Merrydown ciders will feature fresh new label designs which reflect the hand-crafted tradition and heritage of the Merrydown brand," SHS said.

There is no change to the recipe or abv of Merrydown Original Vintage Apple Cider.

SHS said volume sales of Merrydown Vintage 750ml bottles have increased by 31% in the past 12 months.

UK cider producer Aspall said last week that its 4.5% abv Cyder caters to consumers who want a "mid-strength" cider offering.


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