Success Case Study: Smirnoff Cider - Fusing categories and flavors to widen cider's appeal
Smirnoff Cider was launched in 2016 off the back of Diageo's prior success with Pimm's Cider Top. It marries fruit cider with interesting flavor combinations to the brand's core vodka, to offer a less sweet but widely palatable drink.
Cider continues to be a key market in the UK drinks scene, with producers looking for ever-greater differentiation as mainstream products become less attractive to experimental consumers.
Cider is, like beer, experiencing a move towards craft and premium products, and away from the basic mainstream cider product.
At the same time, flavored cider offers big brands a route to compete in a buoyant segment not necessarily dependent on craft credentials, but one where premiumization and differentiation can be established through flavor innovation.
A key part of flavored cider’s appeal is its relative accessibility and palatability for a wider range of consumers. This is combined with the widespread popularity of vodka as a mixer spirit.
The fruity and sweet flavor preference among female consumers suggests more potential for enhancing appeal among that demographic with interesting/creative fruit flavors or fusions that pair cider with other fruit-derived categories/segments.
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