Bulmers, the Irish based cider producer, has set its sights on breaking the duopoly in the cider market following the launch of its flagship cider Magners in the UK.
Magners, known in Ireland as Bulmers, commands 91 per cent of the on-trade Irish cider sector and 11 per cent of the Irish beer market.
Trademark ownership regulations prevent the use of the Bulmers name outside Ireland as it clashes with HP Bulmers, but the two products are identical in everything but name. £500,000 has been invested in marketing and promotions in an attempt to challenge HP Bulmers and Matthew Clark who together currently command 88 per cent of a UK cider market worth £1.25bn.
The brand is to be positioned as a premium alternative to the market leaders and Paul McDonald, national account manager for Bulmers in the UK, claims it will improve the image of cider in the UK.
"Our research shows that consumers continue to associate cider with getting drunk as a teenager and no-one in the UK is doing anything to change this," he said.
"Strongbow's advertising has been very successful but it tries and hide the fact that it's cider. There's room for a quality premium cider that can sit next to the other brands on the bar."