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SHS Group's Merrydown Medium Cider

Category - Cider, 6% abv

Available - From this month

Location- UK, off-trade, stockists include Morrison’s, Batley’s, Bestway, Booker, Dhamecha and Nisa

Price - RRP of GBP1.99 (US$3) per 50cl bottle, also available in eight-packs of 50cl bottles

Distribution - SHS Sales & Marketing

SHS Group has lined up an extension of its Merrydown cider brand in the UK. Merrydown Medium Cider will be backed by a digital campaign, consumer PR and in-store activation.

Last year, SHS relaunched its Merrydown Dry Cider variant at a lower price to attract impulse purchases in the UK off-trade.

Show the press release

A characterful newcomer to the Merrydown Cider range – a 6% ABV classic medium cider packaged in 500ml bottles and featuring distinctive new livery – is making its debut this spring.

The new line is being launched following a positive response in YouGov consumer research and is aimed at broadening the appeal of the Merrydown brand, attracting new consumers, and adding further impetus to sales in the buoyant premium bottled glass cider category which generates almost £336m-worth of annual sales in the take home sector – value which has grown by 6% during the past year.

The new line is being made available to independent and convenience stores from this month (May) and stockists include Morrison’s, Batley’s, Bestway, Booker, Dhamecha and Nisa.

Contemporary packaging and brand activity have been developed to draw out the light-hearted personality consumers associate with the Merrydown brand name. The new 500ml bottle pack design features a new logo – a fox dancing a jig and playing an apple core-shaped fiddle, bringing to life the character and sociability of the brand. Based on a traditional Sussex recipe created by the brand’s founders in 1946, Merrydown is produced from eating apples and the words ‘Delightfully Delicious’ are inscribed underneath the Merrydown brand name, paying homage to the pleasure the distinctive appley taste delivers to the palate. 

Consumer PR, digital and in-store activity, sampling and outdoor advertising will support the launch – united by the strapline: ‘One Sip. Many a knowing grin explained’.

The new 500ml bottles will be sold alongside the established 7.5% ABV Merrydown 750ml bottles and 440ml cans, and will have an RRP of £1.99 reflecting the quality credentials of the brand.

Amanda Grabham, Head of Brand Marketing – Merrydown, says: “Last year the percentage of adults who drink cider increased from 47% to 60%3, with almost two-thirds of cider consumers being aged over 354. This is the audience we are aiming for with the new-look Merrydown as heritage brands have strong appeal for these consumers. Sales of heritage ciders - a sector which is dominated by four brands; Merrydown, Westons, Thatchers and Aspall - have grown by 12% over the past two years.

“Merrydown Cider’s history stretches back almost 70 years and that heritage, along with the product quality and crafted taste of the brand, has established a very loyal consumer following.

“The brand has a great story to tell – three friends produced the first batch of Merrydown in a garage from a 300 year-old oak cider press borrowed from a farmer and named the cider after the house of one of the founders. For consumers, the brand is perceived as having lots of character and personality. The name conjures up a feeling of sociability and light-heartedness, and recent consumer research showed that we could be doing more to reflect the character of the brand in the packaging and the brand support activity. We’ve taken that on board and have had very positive consumer reaction to the new pack design.

“The brand’s history will continue to play a major role in promoting the new line which aims to bring together the traditional craft and quality cues for which Merrydown is renowned, whilst putting greater emphasis on the sense of merriment with its contemporary design.”

Original source: Company Release