White Lightning moves to 5.5%

15 March, 2009

White Lightning is being scaled down from 7.5% abv to 5.5% abv in a bid to encourage responsible drinking.

The white cider brand, launched by Bulmers and now part of the Scottish & Newcastle line-up, will appear in its new form from May.

The supplier axed 3-litre packs and stopped extra-fill promotions for the brand in 2004.

The company said that white cider represents a very small and declining percentage of the cider industry.

It admitted that white cider was often seen as a "problem drink" but added that those who enjoyed it responsibly would not object to the lower strength.

Mark Gerken, off-trade sales managing director at S&N UK, said: “Whilst it would be very easy for us to stop producing White Lightning, we recognise that this approach leaves both customers and consumers with only cheaper alternatives.

"Having spent a number of years attempting to lead the way towards a more responsible approach to white ciders, we feel that the time is right to offer the consumer a more responsible alternative.

“As category pioneers we expect to have to take the initiative but it is even more important that our industry partners fall in behind us.”

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