SHS Drinks is broadening its heritage cider offering this summer with the reintroduction of Merrydown Dry.

With glass-bottled apple ciders currently growing at a robust +14.5% (Nielsen Scantrack, 27.01.18) in the impulse channel, the company believes that it’s the perfect time to launch a new product and grow the Merrydown range to a total of three complementary variants.

This latest development from Britain’s fastest growing and No.1 sharing cider (Nielsen Scantrack, 27.01.18) will provide a boost for the impulse sector’s £76 million glass bottled cider category and result in a range of Merrydown cider styles able to meet a host of consumer needs and occasions.

The reintroduction of Merrydown Dry will address the joint demands of both consumers and trade stockists who were disappointed to see it withdrawn in 2017.

Packaged in the distinctive Merrydown 750ml glass sharing bottle and with a fresh label design to complement that introduced across the whole brand in 2017, new Merrydown Dry will be available from mid-May. With screw-cap closures and trade units of 6 and 12-bottle shrink-wrapped trays, the relaunched product will be available in the impulse sector at an RRP* of £2.69.

Merrydown Dry is a refreshingly crisp cider with a distinctive appley bite; it is made with the same perfect Sussex blend that has been delighting cider-lovers for decades.

Dry contains no artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours and is both vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Merrydown’s apples are pressed within 24 hours to ensure maximum freshness and then double filtered to guarantee a crisp finish.

The relaunch of Merrydown Dry will be supported by on-shelf POS, trade mailers, and a social media campaign including giveaways and teaser posts. Support for the overall brand celebrates the ‘Merrydown Moment’ at the end of the day when cider-lovers want to sit down, relax, unwind and share a treat, and employs the strapline “Love your Merrydown time.”

With the reintroduction of Dry, the brand’s range now comprises three variants: Merrydown Dry: ABV: 6.8%; taste profile: dry (crisp and dry with an appley bite), Merrydown Original: ABV: 7.5%; taste profile: medium/sweet (smooth and fruity) and Merrydown Crisp Apple: ABV: 5.5%; taste profile: crisp and light (30% less calories; only naturally sweetened with apple juice).

All three Merrydown ciders have the same £2.69 RRP* and are packaged in 750ml screw-cap bottles and sold in 6 and 12-pack trade units. The 750ml resealable sharing format gives Merrydown a point of difference over most other bottled ciders which are sold in 500ml crown-cap bottles.

Merrydown was created in 1946 by three friends who shared a passion for cider-making. Now, as in the beginning, the focus is purely on producing high-quality apple ciders. In the impulse channel, glass-bottled apple ciders are growing at +14.5%, whereas bottled flavoured ciders are declining by -3.1% (Nielsen Scantrack, 24.03.18); the reintroduction of Merrydown Dry will drive further apple cider growth.

Merrydown Dry was previously the No.4 Heritage Cider SKU in the impulse channel (Merrydown Original was No.2), accounting for 9% of total segment sales. Sales of Dry were 70% those of Original (Nielsen Scantrack GB 25.02.17).