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Diageo unveils new cider to take on Bulmers

Diageo has re-entered the cider market with the launch of Rockshore Apple Cider, in an effort to claw back a slice of the market from competitor C&C Group, which owns Bulmers.

Rockshore Apple Cider will launch first in the Republic of Ireland

Diageo launched its Rockshore Apple Cider on Thursday, representing the group’s third attempt to gain a foothold in the Irish cider market.

Diageo previously tried to enter the cider category in the late 1990s and early 2000s with Cashel’s and Hudson Blue, but neither brand gained any traction.

Rockshore Apple Cider follows Diageo’s launch last year of Rockshore Lager.

“Since the launch of Rockshore lager 12 months ago we have been overwhelmed by the response from both trade and consumers,” said head of marketing for beer and cider at Diageo, Stuart Kinch.

“We have been experimenting and trialling cider recipes for several years and we believe that we have landed on something refreshingly different.”

The 4% cider is described as “light, crisp and refreshing” but with a “less sweet taste than other cider”.

“What became clear during the development process is that people often find cider overly sweet, so we wanted to create a cider that offers a refreshing taste with a balanced sweetness,” added brewer Aisling Ryan. “Rockshore Apple Cider is made from the juice of freshly pressed apples. The apples are harvested, milled and pressed to extract the fresh apple juice which is then fermented within five days, producing a crisp, refreshing taste with a distinctive natural green apple character.”

The cider is being rolled out first in the Republic of Ireland, in the on-trade, supermarkets and in off-licences, and will be available in bottles, cans and on draught.

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