The fruit variant was rolled out to pubs and bars in 2014 with the aim of reinvigorating draught cider sales.
Since then, the draught cider market has grown and, according to Strongbow, an additional 20m pints were poured in 2018 with 18m of those being Strongbow Dark Fruit – and the brand now accounts for one in four pints of cider poured in all UK pubs and bars.
Heineken category and trade marketing director Jerry Sheddon said: “What Strongbow Dark Fruit has achieved in its short life is undeniable. No one could have really predicted the phenomenal response it would receive in pubs and bars across the country and love the British consumer would develop for it.
“Strongbow Dark Fruit’s position in the category is unrivalled and thanks to its loyal fans and customers. It has delivered almost £1bn to the on-trade in only five years.
“The brand shows no sign of slowing down and we anticipate this figure doubling in the next five years.”
The Morning Advertiser’s 2019 Drinks List, which used data from CGA that looked at the 12 months to 11 August 2018 to highlight the best-selling brands, showed Strongbow Dark Fruits in second position with volume sales at 519,417hl (hectolitres).
But Strongbow isn’t the only cidermaker to have a fruit variant on draught as Magners revealed its dark fruit flavour in 2017.
Magners Dark Fruit, which an an ABV of 4%, was launched to meet demand for a greater variety of draught ciders, after company research revealed the average cider drinker enjoys 2.2 different types of cider, with fruit flavours driving the category growth.
At the time, Magners marketing manager Janette Murray said: “From our research we know there’s room on the bar for a new fruit cider and people want more choice in draught fruit cider offering.”
More recently, Westons revealed Stowford Press Mixed Berries on draught, exclusively for the on-trade in March last year.
Mixed Berries is positioned as a premium competitor to the likes of Heineken’s Strongbow Dark Fruits draught cider, following significant growth in the segment.