Carling to enter cider market

Molson Coors is to launch a cider under the name of its mass market lager brand Carling.

Carling British Cider is a 4.5% product made in Herefordshire cider country and will launch exclusively into the off-trade in March.

It is the third venture into cider by a leading brewer in the last two years following the launches of Stella Cidre by AB-Inbev UK in 2011 and Somersby by Carlsberg last year.

Another of the multinational beer suppliers operating in the UK, Heineken, already owns leading cider brands Strongbow and Bulmers.

Molson Coors said there were 8 million consumers who drink both cider and lager in the UK which is why it had decided to use the Carling name for its new product.

Carling brand director Jeremy Gibson said: “Our aim was to make a product that beats the competition on taste and refreshment and Carling British Cider has done just that.

“The consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive, proof that the time and investment we’ve made to ensure it is a fantastic product has paid off.”

Carling British Cider will be sold in 27.5cl and 50cl bottles. The launch is being backed by a £4.5 million marketing campaign which includes TV advertising.

It is the second major launch from Carling in the past year, following the 2.8% abv beer Carling Zest.

The company said both were “designed to appeal to a wide cross-section of consumers, for a range of occasions.”

The main Carling brand was given a design revamp last year.

Gibson added: “Following 30 years of success we are entering a growing cider market using the strongest brand name in the industry.”