Supplier News Breaks
Stella Artois to introduce cider in U.S.
May 7th, 2013
ST. LOUIS – Belgian beer brand Stella Artois is entering the burgeoning U.S. cider market with Stella Artois Cidre, which is due out this month.
The Anheuser-Busch InBev brand said Tuesday that Stella Artois Cidre is a crisp, distinctive, European-style cider made with apples hand-picked from wine-growing regions in North and South America and fermented in Baldwinsville, N.Y.
Plans call for Stella Artois Cidre to ship to retailers starting May 13. The company said the product will be available in 26 states, with potentially further expansion next year.
At 4.5% alcohol by volume, Stella Artois Cidre will be offered in two packaging configurations: four-packs of 12-ounce bottles and single 24-ounce bottles.
In the United States, the cider beverage category is seeing 110% growth, based on recent IRI sales figures, and Stella Artois Cidre will help meet the rising demand for premium ciders with a more complex taste profile, according Adam Oakley, vice president of import, craft and specialty brands at Anheuser-Busch.
"Stella Artois Cidre is designed to be savored and is very different from sweeter, domestic U.S. ciders," Oakley explained. "Stella Artois Cidre has the potential to change people's perceptions of cider here, offering a refreshing alternative to white wine."
With the U.S. cider market seeing triple-digit growth, it has become one of the fastest-growing beverage categories in the United States, the company noted. Early growth in the category was driven mainly by sweeter domestic ciders, but that has been balanced more recently by a consumer demand for drier, premium European-style ciders.
"Cider drinkers are now approaching cider with a sophistication similar to that of wine drinkers," commented Marc Stroobandt, a Belgian master sommelier. "To capture their interest, ciders certainly need to be refreshing and savory, but people also want something a little more complex and distinct, which Stella Artois Cidre offers."
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