Heineken UK announced plans to de-list its White Lightning cider brand to reinforce its stance on responsible drinking, after attempts to improve the image of white cider failed.
The move follows a series of actions taken by the company in recent years to combat growing public concern about the role of the white cider category and the responsible consumption of alcohol.
White Lightning was sold in the off-trade only. Previously Heineken UK removed all extra-fill promotions and three litre packs across its higher strength cider products and reduced the abv content of White Lightning from 7.5% to 5.5% in April 2009.
Mark Gerken, sales managing director (off trade) at Heineken UK, said: "As pioneers in the cider category we want to lead from the front. Premium and mainstream ciders continue to drive the overall growth of the category and our future investment will focus on our brands in these categories to respond to consumer demand and continue to drive value.
"Furthermore, in these tough trading times categories like premium cider offer better, more sustainable profit opportunities for retailers and they should devote enough space to the brand leaders."
Heineken has Strongbow, Bulmers and Jacques in its cider portfolio.
White Lightning will be de-listed from 31 March 2010.