Stella Artois is expanding its cider portfolio in the US with a new wine spritzer alternative, made from a blend of apples and hibiscus flavors. It’s the first nationwide ‘liquid innovation’ from the brand since 2013.
The cider category is experiencing record growth in the US with new styles, apple varieties and flavors hitting shelves. One major trend among new launches has been the influence of wine-inspired cider, beginning with the rise of rosé cider last year.
Now brands are exploring other ways to incorporate a wine vibe into their cider, like prosecco and pear drinks and Stella Artois’ new canned Spritzer. After testing well in late 2018, the Spritzer launched nationwide in February.
Stella calls it “a twist on the classic white wine spritzer,” which is traditionally a mix of white wine and carbonated water. The Stella Spritzer instead blends apples and hibiscus flavors for a dry cider with a low ABV (3.5%).
Lara Krug, VP at Stella Artois, told BeverageDaily “In the last few years we’ve seen a rise in sparkling wines and flavor trends amongst millennial consumers – for example, the recent rosé craze – but the innovations outside of wine haven’t caught up.
“Spritzer is our take on what we think will be the next big ‘it’ drink with consumers – sparkling spritzers that are very drinkable and offer an alternative to wine.”
Stella’s existing Cidre is more of a traditional, sweet cider that launched in the US in 2013. It was one of the earliest mainstream brands to add a cider to its beer-focused portfolio. It shares similarities with the new Spritzer, but has a more crisp, sparkling taste.
Spritzer will be sold in a six-pack of slim, 12oz cans, rather than the glass bottles the Cidre is packaged in. It’s rolling out nationwide this spring.
The slim packaging means Spritzer can be taken on-the-go, and there’s no cork screw needed, so we hope to see consumers enjoying Spritzer during all manner of occasions and whenever they’re in need of a bubbly moment.