While cider in Australia has always been billed as a summer drink, there have been moves of late to create space for the ever expanding cider market in the cooler months too.

As previously explored, last winter saw the rise of the mulled ciderphenomena, however, autumn is gearing up to be the new battle ground with a slew of new varieties hitting shelves in time for the cooler months.

Swedish cider giant Rekorderlig has taken to Facebook to launch their new flavour, while local cider brand Cheeky Rascal has released three new flavours with a staggering four more to follow shortly.

In an effort to stay ahead of the curve, both brands have chosen slightly different but equally innovative methods to differentiate their products.

Not that Rekorderlig needs much help, currently holding a massive 20 per cent marketshare (in terms of packaged cider) in Australia. However, in the spirit of innovation, their new Passionfruit Cider was launched to the company’s 220,000 Facebook fans via the new consumer app: The Beautifully Swedish Cider Hunt.

The ‘Where’s Wally’-style game features a bottle of Rekorderlig Passionfruit hidden somewhere in the streets of Stockholm. The winner – the first to spot said bottle – could – with proof of age – get the chance to be the first consumer in the world to receive a
full case of Rekorderlig Passionfruit Cider delivered to their door.

On the other hand, Cheeky Rascal has undertaken to create a range of Limited Edition flavours that were vetted by over 300 attendees at their ‘cider making and blending’ workshops. The written feedback from these events has given rise to a range of consumer-driven, 100% real local fruit, flavours including: Passionfruit Pink Lady, Apple Guava and Honey Apple Cyser (the latter being the “fancy name for honey and apple juice co-fermented”). These initial three varieties will be followed up by Apple Mint; Strawberry Apple Mint, Gingerberry (TM) and Ginger Apple.

Sitting on 8.0% ABV the Cheeky Rascal varieties pack a bit more of a punch than their Swedish counterparts and are limited to 2000 cases.

With the explosion in cider consumption not appearing to be slowing, it will be interesting to see how brands continue to position themselves in an increasingly crowded market, especially as the ‘craft cider’ genre begins to make it’s presence felt in the marketplace.

Both brands are available nationally in good liquor stores.

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