S&NUK trials iced Strongbow cider

By Rosie Davenport , 02-Mar-2007

Related topics: Drinks & Brands News

Scottish & Newcastle UK (S&NUK) is testing two new ways of serving Strongbow, including a draught version that dispenses frozen cider crystals into the glass.

S&NUK trials iced Strongbow cider

Scottish & Newcastle UK (S&NUK) is testing two new ways of serving Strongbow, including a draught version that dispenses frozen cider crystals into the glass.


Strongbow On Ice is on test in a handful of Mitchells & Butlers pubs and uses new technology that freezes cider to create crystals, which melt as the drink is consumed.


The trial follows Magners' phenomenal success as a drink served over ice. It comes less than a month after the MA reported that its owner, the C&C Group, was researching the idea of rolling out Magners on draught.


C&C, which also owns the Bulmers brand in Ireland, introduced a semi-frozen product - Bulmers Iced - in Ireland last August.


Billed as "the biggest innovation in the cider market for over a decade", Bulmers Iced uses a "unique dispense system" that delivers a pint with a head of iced cider.


However, pubcos have voiced concerns that the taste is diluted as the ice crystals melt.


One senior buyer said: "You're basically creating a drink with the same consistency as a Slush Puppy and the liquid at the bottom can be very watery."


S&NUK has also teamed up with Punch to promote selling Strongbow in two-pint jugs using glasses filled with ice. Consumers pour the cider into the glasses themselves, creating a challenge to Magners' over-ice approach, while still giving drinkers a full pint of Strongbow.


If successful, it could be implemented throughout the Punch estate.


S&NUK press and PR manager David Jones said: "We can confirm that we are currently conducting a number of field trials testing draught cider served over ice, but these are still at the early stages of development."


Cider squad to hit 5,000 pubs in 20 cities


S&NUK is sending a "cider hit squad" into 5,000 pubs in 20 cities. A team of 40 specially-trained brand advocates will run in-bar sampling for an initial three-month period on the company's Bulmers Original, Sirius and Jacques brands.


S&NUK customer marketing activation manager for ciders, Richard Glover, said: "We will introduce consumers to the drinks in a fresh, original way. The activity will engage with bar staff and consumers and encompasses staff training, merchandising, sampling nights and follow-up activity."

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