Everything's rosy as cider brand targets UK

MICHAEL FOREMAN
Last updated 05:00 18/03/2014

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Kiwi cider brand Old Mout is about to make a splash in Britain, with global brewing giant Heineken deciding to launch it in the country often thought of as cider's original home.

Old Mout (rhymes with fruit) is made by Redwood Cider, which has been producing cider in Moutere near Nelson since 1947.

Heineken, which is producing Old Mout under licence in Belgium, will launch the cider in Britain this month, backed by a £3 million ($5.9 million) advertising campaign.

Heineken UK managing director of trade Lawson Mountstevens said Old Mout would be popular with British cider drinkers looking to discover brands that were "off the beaten track".

"You can tell that it is a brand that doesn't take itself too seriously and the Kiwi sense of humour is typified by the advertising promise of ‘tasty ways to make fruit more useful', which the British market will enjoy," Mountstevens said.

Redwood Cider managing director Justin Hall said Redwood would benefit more from the market credibility that the Heineken deal offered than its dollar value.

The licensing arrangement includes a royalty payment but this would be small at the outset of the deal, he said. "What's much more important is that it will help us to sell our cider both in New Zealand and other overseas markets.

"The fact that Old Mout is available in the UK will be a massive talking point with our customers in Australia, for example." Hall said cider sales had grown rapidly in New Zealand during the past three years, with an annual increase of about 30 per cent.

Redwood became involved with Heineken through a joint-venture agreement it signed with DB Breweries in 2012.

Later that year DB became part of Heineken after it acquired DB's former parent company Asia Pacific Breweries.

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