News & Media

SHS Drinks puts new spin on spiders with Orwell’s amaretto-flavoured cider

7th May 2014

Following its successful entry into the spirit-flavoured beer category, SHS Drinks is bringing an inspirational and contemporary new twist to the £369 million premium glass bottled cider category with the launch of Orwell’s – a new 5.5% ABV amaretto-flavoured cider.

The new line, which will be available in 330ml glass bottles from June, fuses together two of the best-performing and most popular categories with 18-30 year-olds – flavoured cider and spirits – and introduces an adventurous and unexpected blend of alcohol flavours to the newly-emerging spirit-flavoured cider or ‘spider’ category: a category which SHS Drinks estimates will be worth £50 million by 2018.

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With Orwell’s – which is described as having ‘a refreshing blend of amaretto notes and a fruity hint of cherry paired with a crisp cider apple background’ – SHS Drinks says its aim is to continue pushing the boundaries to create genuine innovation with a point of difference which will appeal to consumers who are becoming ever more experimental in their search for exciting and unusual new flavours.

Orwell’s packaging and marketing support reflect the brand’s strapline ‘The traditionally untraditional cider’. The classic brown glass bottle, which has a suggested take home retail price point of £1.89, features a fusion of traditional and contemporary imagery. A summer launch campaign will focus on on-trade sampling activity and support for stockists including the provision of POS materials with shelf-barkers and posters featuring lines such as ‘Amaretto?! Go on. Try it. Seriously. It’s Amazing.’ and ‘It tastes SO GOOD you’ll wonder why it’s never been done before.’ Above-the-line advertising, sponsorships and promotions are planned for later in the year as part of a phased roll-out for the new brand.

Mark Hopper, Head of Innovation and Development at SHS Drinks, says: “It is always our intention to bring true innovation that adds value to the market. There’s a huge amount of consumer interest in cider with almost two-thirds of the adult population now including cider in their drinks repertoire. Flavoured cider is now the biggest sector accounting for approaching half (44%) of take home premium glass bottled cider sales, and with flavoured cider sales up 44% it’s also been the powerhouse of the category during the past year.

“This demonstrates that there is still plenty of ‘stretch’ within the cider category to accommodate this new spirit cider sector which brings together two categories which are both credible and highly motivating for consumers, and we’ve also seen the impact that spirit-flavoured beers have had in revitalising the premium packaged lager (PPL) category. Also this blurring and cross-over of categories isn’t just confined to alcohol drinks, we’re seeing it throughout the fmcg market from chocolate flavoured cheese to pizza burgers.”

Hopper adds: “Entering the spider category is not something we have rushed into as it’s been important for us to create an exciting and motivating flavour profile which pushes the boundaries and is a little unusual. We’ve been developing Orwell’s and have been talking to customers about the spiders opportunity for around a year. During this time we have been fine-tuning the balance of the flavours, whilst also gaining valuable consumer and market insights from the launch of our bourbon and rum-flavoured spirit beers.

“Orwell’s has been well received in consumer taste tests and we believe this hybrid spirit cider combination will extend cider consumption into new occasions as it is more likely to be purchased for higher energy, brand-in-hand social occasions than the mellower, lower-key social occasions usually associated with cider.”