Bulmers' repackaging exercise was obviously spurred by the stellar performance of Magners, and only a severely deluded person would argue the new design didn't owe something to its Irish rival. Retailers don't mind about that: they're just pleased to see such a vibrant category again.
Brand owner Scottish & Newcastle has added a Light variant to the range, with 30% fewer calories, and is ambitious for more growth in the coming year.
"S&N UK will support the Bulmers cider portfolio with a £22 million marketing investment programme that includes TV and radio advertising, POS merchandising and heavyweight consumer sampling," said a spokeswoman.†
As market leader, stablemate Strongbow was never likely to grow as dramatically as Bulmers, but 22.3% is pretty remarkable for a brand that's been at the top of the tree for so long. S&N is promising "a £27 million marketing support programme".
This will feature a similar line-up of support to that being offered to its Bulmers stablemate - namely national TV and radio ads, POS material and a major sampling campaign.
A spokeswoman added: "S&N UK will also continue to launch Strongbow in new pack formats to meet evolving consumer needs and market trends."†