The Somerset cider is the number four brand in the off-trade in its West Country heartland, and the number two draught brand in the on-trade nationally (CGA and Nielsen data, July 2012), although it struggles to make such an impact in the take-home sector.
But marketing director Maurice Breen believes the new ad campaign can result in Thatchers performing as well across the UK as it does in the south west.
He said: “We are a regional brand looking to go national. Awareness is increasing as our ad spend is on a national level.
“We should be in a much stronger position in the off-trade.”
To support retailers, Thatchers has launched multipacks – 10-packs and 18-packs of cans and a six-pack for bot- tles. These go out in Tesco stores on March 11.
It also has a new price-marked pack for Booker and has decided to stop sell- ing its 2-litre PET.
These developments coincide with 30 and 20-second ads that will air nation- ally on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and some Sky channels.
The campaign will be supported with outdoor advertising, social media and sporting sponsorships.
Martin Thatcher, fourth-generation cider maker and managing director of Thatchers, said: “We expect the new ad will be seen by more than 26 million people.”
Breen, who worked at C&C in Ireland from 2002-09 and brought Magners to the UK in 2003, believes 2013 will continue to see a “premiumisation of mainstream cider and a slipping of the old guard”.
He said: “Once a star performer in BWS, cider has now slipped into volume decline year-on-year.”
But he added that according to his calculations the cider market will grow 2.7% in 2013 in the off-trade.
He said: “Growth has come from Stella Artois Cidre, Bulmers No 17, Kopparberg and Frosty Jack’s.”
Fruit in growth
Thatchers says fruit cider is growing 80% year on year so it has revamped and relaunched its range.
Thatchers Somerset Mixed Fruit (4%) combines cider with natural fruit juice from blackcurrants, rasp- berries, strawberries and blackberries and retails at £2.29.
Rose (5.4%) retails at £2.19 and Pear (4.5%) is at £2.29.They are all available in 50cl bottles.