DRINKS firm COS Brands has pinpointed the height of summer for the release of its first seasonal cider product.
Kopparberg Raspberry & Mint will make its UK debut in July after encouraging sales in the Swedish and Finnish markets. The product will be available through wholesalers in 500ml bottles, branded a “summer exclusive”.
Its launch marks the start of a strategy by COS Brands of introducing seasonal variants under the Kopparberg brand, complementing its core portfolio of Pear, Mixed Fruit, Strawberry and Lime, and Elderflower and Lime fruit-flavoured ciders. “This is the first of our seasonal variants, because we’re conscious that, while there’s huge demand for fruit cider, we don’t want to give out too many variants too soon,” explained Davin Nugent, managing director of COS Brands. “So, instead of launching a permanent variant every season or every year, we will look to introduce a seasonal variant we can rotate. Raspberry & Mint is the first of those. Again, we’ve had this in our Finnish and Swedish markets before and it’s been very popular. The addition of the mint gives a different taste, because it’s not as sweet as our other variants. It’s the perfect summer drink.”
Nugent told SLTN the seasonal flavour comes as the Kopparberg brand continues to perform well in the Scottish on-trade, where he said it’s supported strongly by the independent sector. “We’ve just received the latest CGA data for Scotland and our sales are up over 55%,” he said, “so the brand really is going really strongly in the Scottish market … in particular in the on-trade. The support for the brand is very very strong, from key wholesalers like Wallaces Express and Mortons through to Belhaven and Caledonian Heritable, as well as the independents.
“The key independents are really the lifeblood [of Kopparberg] and are continuing to support the brand, continuing to discover it and give it more space. In a declining market, where publicans are really struggling, the strength of fruit cider is a really positive story and we’re leading that charge.” A generic marketing campaign for Kopparberg is due to break soon; see future issues for details.