press_release_file_4723An exciting new creative promoting Merrydown Vintage Ciders’ “big appley taste” is being displayed on high profile sites in an outdoor poster campaign this summer to support retailers during a key trading period for cider.

At the same time, Merrydown is talking directly to food lovers with a raft of promotional activity to strengthen its positioning as the premium cider to enjoy with food during the summer season. Merrydown is a good quality premium cider, made with eating apples rather than bitter cider apples, making it not only refreshing in hot weather but also able to stand up well to the robust flavours of barbecue food.

Last summer, despite indifferent weather, sales of bottled cider saw a staggering 43% increase*. Latest figures show Merrydown performing well, with 9% value growth MAT in grocery multiples**, and Managing Director Chris Carr expects continued good sales for Merrydown this summer.

The eye-catching posters portray a huge reproduction of a bottle of Merrydown with an apple-like bite taken out of one side, along with the words: Merrydown – the cider with the BIG appley taste.

Says Merrydown Managing Director Chris Carr: “The message emphasises Merrydown’s unique credentials – our ciders are made to an original Sussex recipe using crisp eating apples and yeast from the Champagne-Ardenne region.  All this combines to give the cider in each bottle a big, fruity taste.”

At the same time as the posters are being displayed, 150,000 food-loving visitors to the BBC Good Food Summer Show will receive a 50p-off voucher to encourage trial of Merrydown’s two variants – Vintage Dry and Vintage Medium.

A further 1.6m consumers throughout the UK will be receiving 25p off a one litre bottle through regional newspaper promotions during the summer months, with Merrydown being featured as a “BBQ Essential” along with burgers and buns. Consumers nationwide are also being given the chance to win a best-selling Weber barbecue through competitions and giveaways.

Special price promotions to drive rate of sale in multiples and independent cash and carries will complement the consumer activity.

The posters, strategically sited around retailers, are initially being trialled in Scotland. The poster messages are being backed with a sales drive to encourage retailers to stock two Merrydown SKUs – Vintage Medium and Vintage Dry – in keeping with advice from The Federation of Wholesale Distributors. The FWD recommends one-litre bottles of both variants are included on all cider planograms. Free POS is also available for retailers by phoning a dedicated Merrydown POS hotline – 0800 917 3450.

Carr concludes: “Retailers nationwide can take advantage of the cider season by keeping well stocked with a good display of ice cold bottles in the chiller, making sure prices are visible and highlighting any promotions with shelf barkers. We have seen a good start to the summer already and hope for more good weather to continue to drive cider sales.”

* Nielsen Scantrack: Total Glass Bottled Cider Average 4 weekly litres 14.06.08 to 06.09.08 and 26.01.08 to 27.12.08

**Nielsen Scantrack: Grocery Mults Glass Bottled Cider Category to we 16.05.09

Sales enquiries: SHS Sales & Marketing 01242 570288

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