SHS Drinks is broadening its heritage cider offering this summer with the reintroduction of Merrydown Dry. With glass-bottled apple ciders currently growing at an extremely robust +14.5%1 in the impulse channel, the Company believes that it’s the perfect time to launch a new product and grow the Merrydown range to a total of three complementary variants.
This latest development from Britain’s fastest growing and No.1 sharing cider2 will provide a boost for the impulse sector’s £76 million glass bottled cider category3 and result in a range of Merrydown cider styles able to meet a host of consumer needs and occasions.
The reintroduction of Merrydown Dry will address the joint demands of both consumers and trade stockists who were disappointed to see it withdrawn in 2017.
Packaged in the distinctive Merrydown 750ml glass sharing bottle and with a fresh label design to complement that introduced across the whole brand in 2017, new Merrydown Dry will be available from mid-May. With screw-cap closures and trade units of 6 and 12-bottle shrink-wrapped trays, the relaunched product will be available in the impulse sector at an RRP* of £2.69.
Merrydown Dry is a refreshingly crisp cider with a distinctive appley bite; it is made with the same perfect Sussex blend that has been delighting cider-lovers for decades.
Like all members of the Merrydown family, Dry contains no artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours and is both vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Merrydown ciders are made from hand-picked eating apples, as opposed to the bitter-sweet cider apples used by most producers. Merrydown’s apples are pressed within 24 hours to ensure maximum freshness and then double filtered to guarantee a crisp finish.
The relaunch of Merrydown Dry will be supported by on-shelf POS, trade mailers, and a social media campaign including giveaways and teaser posts. Support for the overall brand celebrates the ‘Merrydown Moment’ at the end of the day when cider-lovers want to sit down, relax, unwind and share a treat, and employs the strapline “Love your Merrydown time.”
With the reintroduction of Dry, the brand’s range now comprises three variants:
- Merrydown Dry: ABV: 6.8%; taste profile: dry (crisp and dry with an appley bite).
- Merrydown Original: ABV: 7.5%; taste profile: medium/sweet (smooth and fruity).
- Merrydown Crisp Apple: ABV: 5.5%; taste profile: crisp and light (30% less calories; only naturally sweetened with apple juice).
All three Merrydown ciders have the same £2.69 RRP* and are packaged in 750ml screw-cap bottles and sold in 6 and 12-pack trade units. The 750ml resealable sharing format gives Merrydown a point of difference over most other bottled ciders which are sold in 500ml crown-cap bottles.
Merrydown was created in 1946 by three friends who shared a passion for cider-making. Now, as in the beginning, the focus is purely on producing high-quality apple ciders. In the impulse channel, glass-bottled apple ciders are growing at +14.5%1, whereas bottled flavoured ciders are declining by -3.1%1; the reintroduction of Merrydown Dry will drive further apple cider growth.
Amanda Grabham, Head of Brand Marketing – Alcohol at SHS Drinks, says: “Back by popular demand is an oft overstated claim but with Merrydown Dry it is wholly appropriate: trade stockists and cider-lovers really missed it, so we had a re-think and brought it back. We’re confident that Dry’s loyal fans and previous trade stockists will welcome it back with open arms.
“Merrydown was created over 70 years ago by three founders each with different strengths and qualities and it’s great to see the current Merrydown portfolio now contain three high-quality variants, each with its own strengths and characteristics.
“Lighter, lower strength, lower-calorie Merrydown Crisp Apple has tapped into the trend for moderating consumption; award-winning best-seller Merrydown Original has focused on its heritage and quality cues and is currently growing volume at over +38% in impulse1; and the reintroduction of the much-missed Merrydown Dry variant will fuel further growth in the buoyant glass bottled apple cider segment in the convenience sector.
“With the sought-after return of Merrydown Dry, consumers can now relax and enjoy their Down-time with some extra dryness,” concludes Grabham.
Source1: Nielsen Scantrack GB – Impulse Glass Bottled Cider volume (L) 12 weeks to 24.03.18
Source2: Nielsen Scantrack GB – Grocery Mults Glass Bottled Cider value (£) 26 weeks to 27.01.18
Source3: Nielsen Scantrack GB – Impulse Glass Bottled Cider value (£) MAT to 24.03.18
Source4: Nielsen Scantrack GB – Impulse Glass Bottled Cider volume (L) MAT to 25.02.17
* Recommended Retail Price