Heineken targets women with trial of Charli cider

Heineken is testing a new cider-based beverage aimed at women in an attempt to carve out a niche in the buoyant cider market.

Made from cider, barley malt and sparkling water, Charli has an ABV of 5%. It is being tested in bars in Holland on tap and in bottles; if successful, drinks industry observers expect it to roll out in the UK next summer.

C&C's Magners and Scottish & Newcastle's Bulmers Original, the major players in the over-ice cider sector, have adopted positionings targeting both male and female drinkers. Heineken believes a female-focused cider-based drink could fill a gap in the market.

The Dutch brewer said the drink was aimed at women who do not like beer and distrust the quality of wine available in bars. It will be testing Charli cider in cafes in Deventer and Amsterdam.

Heineken's first-half figures, released last week, reveal organic net profit growth of 35%, with all regions delivering higher volumes and profits. Volume sales in the UK increased 27%, following its repositioning as a premier beer.