New Strongbow Artisanal Blend Crafts Heirloom Apple Varieties

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Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders, the number one selling global cider brand[1] and the fastest growing cider brand in the U.S.[2], unveils its newest flavor, and ushers in the autumn apple season with Strongbow Artisanal Blend. The new flavor is crafted with heirloom cider apple varieties, cold-pressed and blended together for a naturally refreshing, semi-sweet taste. Strongbow Artisanal Blend, along with all Strongbow products, contains no artificial flavors or colors and is available in September 2017 in 6-pack bottles, variety 12-pack, variety 24-pack, and limited-edition mini-can 4-packs.

“We are greeting autumn with the newest edition to the Strongbow family of hard ciders, and are excited to share Strongbow Artisanal Blend with our loyal consumers and new cider drinkers across the U.S.,” said Jessica Robinson, Vice President, Portfolio Brands, who was involved in the development of the new flavor. “With strong momentum behind the brand –Strongbow is growing +12 points ahead of the category[3]–Artisanal Blend is sure to delight consumers and drive even greater sales growth,” continued Robinson. “Its unique blend of heirloom apple varieties results in a refreshing semi-sweet taste that, in product testing, 78% of consumers said they would buy.[4]” Strongbow is the #2-selling hard cider brand in the U.S.[5], and along with all its award-winning flavors, Gold Apple was recognized as the Best Tasting Hard Cider for two years in a row at the World Cider Championships.[6]

A massive consumer sampling of 4-pack mini-cans at a suggested retail price of $1 will start in September to drive trial and awareness of the new flavor and bring new drinkers to the cider category.  Retailers can capitalize on the fact that, based on a limited-time spring offering, 90% of mini-can buyers are new to Strongbow,[7] and 74% are new to the cider category.[8] In addition, the launch will be supported by year-long national TV advertising, buzz-worthy digital and PR, and in-store merchandising to heighten visibility. Artisanal Blend will also be available in 6-packs and will simultaneously replace Strongbow Honey in the 12-bottle Strongbow Variety Pack, alongside Strongbow Orange Blossom, Strongbow Gold Apple, and Strongbow Cherry Blossom. The same four flavors will be offered in the 4-pack mini-cans. Strongbow Artisanal Blend is best served over ice, and consumers are encouraged to experiment with mixing Strongbow with other natural flavors to create delicious drinks like a bespoke Artisanal Blend Mojito[9], to draw out its refreshing semi-sweet taste.

All flavors in the new Variety Pack are gluten-free and sold in 11.2 oz. bottles. Strongbow Gold Apple and Strongbow Honey are 5% ABV, Strongbow Orange Blossom and Strongbow Cherry Blossom are 4.5% ABV, and Artisanal Blend is 6% ABV.

[1]Canadian November 2016 Global Cider Trends Study.
[2] Nielsen FDCM+, YTD through 5/20/17.
[3] Nielsen FDCM+, P12 Months ending 5/20/17.
[4] FY2015 Nielsen Panel.
[5] Nielsen FDCM+ ending 4/22/17
[6] Among ‘Common’ Ciders, 2014, 2015
[7] InfoScout Shopper Panel
[8] EYC CMS L7weeks ending 4/15/17
[9] Artisanal Blend Mojito Recipe: 3 parts Strongbow Artisanal Blend, 2 parts white rum, 5 basil leaves, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp sugar, lime sugar for rim of glass, 8 mint leaves. Dip the top of the glass in water and cover with lime/sugar mixture. In a cocktail shaker muddle mint, basil, sugar and lime juice. Add ice and rum, shake well. Strain into ice filled glass and top with Artisanal Blend. Garnish with mint sprig.

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