Carlsberg enters UK cider market with launch of Somersby

Carlsberg is making its first foray into the UK cider market with the launch of the Somersby brand.

Somersby Cider: Carlsberg-owned brand set to launch in UK in July
Somersby Cider: Carlsberg-owned brand set to launch in UK in July

Somersby Cider, which will launch later this month, is targeting male and female cider drinkers within the mainstream category.

Somersby – which was originally launched in Denmark and Sweden – will not be served over ice.

It will be competing against the market leader, Heineken-owned Strongbow, along with new entrants such as AB Inbev's Stella Artois Cidre, as brands aim to tap into the growing popularity of cider.

The launch of Somersby Cider will be supported by an extensive sampling campaign running until the end of the year, with a multimillion-pound marketing drive expected early next year.

Carlsberg said Somersby was a "crisp, refreshing cider with no sweeteners, flavours or preservatives", which targets consumers who find the "current, established, mainstream ciders in the UK, both artificial and astringent".

The brand has been developed specifically for the UK market, claiming that market research shows Somersby is "significantly preferred to the market leader".

Since its launch in 2008, Somersby has rolled across 22 countries across Northern and Western Europe, alongside parts of Asia.

Darran Britton, marketing and strategy director, Carlsberg UK said: "The cider market creates a huge opportunity for Carlsberg UK to broaden our portfolio. At a time when our beer brands are growing share, the launch of Somersby also adds momentum to our business.

"Carlsberg UK has an unrivalled track record of making, marketing and selling brands loved by consumers.  We are using this brand-building expertise to launch a mainstream cider in a market which is enjoying double-digit growth."

According to Mintel, the UK cider market is recording double-digit growth, with volume sales rising 24% between 2006 and 2011, showing value up from £1.7bn to £2.4bn.

Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @loullamae_es

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