Diageo takes Smirnoff brand into cider

Diageo is dismantling the walls between styles of alcoholic drink by taking the world's biggest vodka, Smirnoff, into fruit cider.

Smirnoff Cider will sell for £1.99 in the off trade and £4.50 in the on trade
Smirnoff Cider will sell for £1.99 in the off trade and £4.50 in the on trade

Available from today in both bars and supermarkets, Smirnoff Cider comes in Raspberry & Pomegranate and Passionfruit & Lime flavours in a stark, clear glass bottle, which Diageo said was designed to "convey the crisp, clean taste of the liquid."

The launch will be supported by an outdoor, digital and social campaign kicking off in August.

It is the second cider product launched by the drinks giant, following Pimm’s Cider Cup last year. Diageo is also rolling out a growing range of contemporary craft-inspired beers through its pilot brewery at Guinness, The Brewers Project.

Fruit cider has been the main driver of growth in the cider in recent years, with brands such as Kopparberg, as well as fruit versions of top seller Strongbow, leading the charge. The new product – which has branding characteristics in common with both other fruit ciders, and Smirnoff Ice – is likely to increase perceptions that fruit cider plays a similar role in the market to that once filled by alcopops.

Claire O’Neill, innovation commercialisation manager at Diageo GB, said: "By entering into the fruit cider category under the strength of the Smirnoff brand name, and with two original flavour offerings, we’re confident Smirnoff will take cider to the next level."