The launch follows research from the company indicating young adults’ desire for flavour experimentation and bold tastes in cider shows no signs of slowing down. The launch will be supported by a £1.2m advertising campaign.
Wild Blueberry & Lime comes in a 568ml bottle at 4% ABV and replaces the Bold Black Cherry variant in the range.
Emma Sherwood-Smith, cider director at Heineken, said: “Blueberries’ popularity is soaring in the UK, yet surprisingly, there is currently no mainstream blueberry flavoured cider in the market, until now. The new Bulmers Wild Blueberry & Lime cider addresses both consumer demand for blueberries as well as the trend for experimenting with different flavoured ciders.”
Heineken said last year’s launch of its Zesty Blood Orange variant was the biggest packaged cider launch of 2015 – bringing 500,000 new people into the cider category.
Wild Blueberry & Lime joins the existing cider range which includes Zesty Bloody Orange, Cider Pear, Crushed Red Berries and Lime and Cider Original.
Desperados on draught
Separately, the company is launching is tequila-flavoured beer Desperados on draught from this month.
Desperados is the UK’s fourth biggest packaged lager brand and is targeted at a twenty-something audience.
A new ‘schooner-style’ glass is being introduced to support the launch on draught which, at two thirds the size of a pint, aims to help operators to boost their profit margins. The launch is further supported with branded bar runners and a striking illuminated steel font, which helps create strong standout at the bar.
Andrew Turner, category and trade marketing director at Heineken, said: “With the popularity of flavoured beers continuing to rise alongside consumer demand for a more premium drinking experience, we’re delighted to be launching Desperados on draught.
“With this new format, we are aiming to give our customers the opportunity to provide a wider choice to pub-goers, helping customers to grow their profit margins incrementally. The new font looks great and is certainly going to catch the eye of consumers on entering the bar, so we’re confident that this format will further increase the popularity of Desperados and help our customers to boost their profits in the months ahead.”
Turner added that Heineken will refuse to sell the product to licensees who don’t agree to the schooner serve rather than pints in a bid to maintain its responsible retailing credentials.
He added that while it would be "stupid and naive" for Heineken to rule out buying a smaller UK craft brewer, the company had no current acquisition plans.