Strongbow ditches artificial sweeteners, flavours and colours

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Less is more: Strongbow is ‘mindful’ of what it believes customers want from products
Less is more: Strongbow is ‘mindful’ of what it believes customers want from products
Heineken-owned cider brand Strongbow has relaunched its range so it is now made without artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours.

Strongbow is also adding calorie and nutritional information labelling to all its packaging on its Original, Cloudy Apple and Dark Fruit variants in a bid to help drinkers easily find the ingredients and calorie content of the drink.

Heineken UK marketing director Cindy Tervoort said: “With the cider category hugely important to the on-trade, we have been on a mission to future-proof Strongbow for generations to come.

“Research tells us consumer attitudes are changing, they are thinking more about what they consume and where it’s from, which includes being more mindful about ingredients.”

New recipe

Heineken announced it was adding calorie labelling to its brands earlier this month​ (June). Its Bulmers Original cider relaunched with a new recipe, which included 100% British apples from Herefordshire and is also free from artificial flavourings, colours and sweeteners, Heineken claimed.

The recipe has 30% less sugar than before and is suitable for vegans. The move comes at a time when 93% of Brits (according to Kantar Worldpanel) revealed they wanted to reduce the amount of sugar they consume. However, the same research also found almost half (46%) of consumers believe artificial sweeteners are no better.

Tervoort said: “We know UK consumers are thinking about what they consume and where it has come from.

“We have already made the changes on our beers and now our entire range of ciders will give consumers calorie and ingredient information to help them make informed choices. We hope this move will inspire the rest of the cider industry to follow.”

EU predictions

Similarly, spirits brand Pernod Ricard announced it would be displaying ingredients and energy values​​ on its products this month (June) after the manufacturer signed a Europe-wide memorandum of understanding (MoU).

Producers that sign up to the MoU will commit to on-pack ingredients labelling and energy values as well as detailed product-specific information online, making it easier for consumers to see what is in their drinks.

The voluntary MoU was facilitated by the European Commission and has been discussed by Government and manufacturers since before March 2018.

According to EU predictions, ingredients and calorie information will be labelled on a quarter of spirits bottles on the EU market by 2020, rising to 50% in 2021 and 66% by 2022, Pernod Ricard said in a statement.

Related topics: Cider

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