Lazy Jack’s is designed to bridge the gap between sweet fruit cider and complex scrumpy cider, and is targeted at 22 to 30-year-olds.
Director of innovation Richard Clark told OLN: “This is our first NPD of scale since Crabbie’s was launched five years ago and it’s going to be a brand that’s here to stay and based on apple, with no fruit variants.”
Apple still retains the lion’s share of the cider market, accounting for 66% of sales, but that is down from 72% a year ago, while fruit cider has grown from 13% to 20% of the category (IRI, year to March 1).
But Clark sees an opportunity to bring younger consumers into apple cider by “providing something more refreshing than traditional cider”.
He said: “The liquid was a massive challenge for us. There’s no point in doing something that’s the same as what’s out there.
“It’s cloudy and unfiltered and you don’t have a cloudy cider for a younger audience. As a younger consumer you probably go into fruit cider now.
“This is designed to attract younger consumers that have been into fruit cider but haven’t come into apple cider yet. Some people see it as the connecting device.”
Lazy Jack’s is made in England, using English apples, but is “inspired by the heat of the Mississippi summer” and comes in a US-style 35.5cl bottle.
Halewood has invented the Mississippi Woodshed Brewing Co and names this as the producer of Lazy Jack’s on the front of the bottle and on the bottle cap.
Clark said marketing will focus on links to American music and food like barbeque, pulled pork and mac and cheese.
He said it “capitalises on the consumer desire for American-themed lifestyle and taps into the growing trend of American-style drinks”.
Lazy Jack’s has an abv of 4.7% and retails at £1.29 for a single bottle and £4.89 for a four-pack.
It will be available in Bargain Booze in April, before it is rolled out into major supermarkets in June.
Sampling, digital advertising, sponsorship of events like Grillstock in Manchester and Bristol and advertising featuring people drinking straight from the bottle will promote the brand.