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Heineken targets food outlets with artisanal cider duo

Published:  06 March, 2017

Heineken has added an artisanal duo to its Bulmers cider portfolio created with premium and food outlets in mind.

The Bulmers Orchard Pioneers range is being rolled out now in red and cloudy apple flavours in single 500ml bottle format, supported by a £2m push.

Designed to bridge a gap between mainstream apple and premium artisanal cider, the newcomers were born out of a collaboration between the Dutch brewer and two "expert apple growers" in Herefordshire - Kier Rogers and Sarah Hawkins.

Sarah's Red Apple Cider is described as having the "subtle bittersweet" taste of Herefordshire apples, while Kier's Cloudy Apple Cider has a fresh apple flavour with subtle caramel sweetness. Both tipples are sparkling and medium bodied.

As well as growing the apple varieties used in the ciders, the growers had been collaborating on all parts of the project, including recipe development and shaping the design, said Heineken cider director Emma Sherwood-Smith,

The relationship with growers had always been at the heart of Heineken's cider business", said Sherwood-Smith, adding Bulmers Orchard Pioneers would expand drinkers' repertoire and act as a stepping stone into premium artisanal ciders, in turn adding value for the operator and category.

Heineken currently works with around 180 growers across 10,000 acres of local orchards.