Standing listening last night to The Macallan’s brand ambassador, Joy Elliot, who was conducting a tasting of the new 1824 Series at the Whisky Shop in London’s Piccadilly, I could not resist a feeling of déjà vu.
The decision to switch from Vermont Hard Cider to Heineken USA, effective January 1 2013, was taken to accelerate the brand’s growth and take advantage of a rapidly enlarging cider market.
According to Heineken, US cider volumes grew 10% in 2010 and 20% in 2011.
Heineken said Strongbow is currently the second largest cider brand in the US and the largest globally, occupying some 25% of total volume sales.
The company said it will position Strongbow as the “leading upscale cider brand” and offer male and female consumers “an alternative alcoholic beverage option”.
Dolf van den Brink, president and CEO of Heineken USA, said: “There is tremendous opportunity to build on the momentum that the Vermont Hard Cider team created over the last nine years.
“We see this as a pivotal moment to further accelerate Strongbow’s growth by supporting the brand with the full weight of Heineken USA’s resources and capabilities.
“By growing our core and investing in innovation, we will continue to enhance our position as the industry’s leading upscale importer.”