It was all fun and excitement Thursday night at the Ikeja City Mall, as Nigerian Breweries officially unveiled its newest premium beverage brand, Strongbow apple cider, a ready-to-drink beverage made from apple cider. Strongbow is a product of the United Kingdom but is owned by Heineken NV.
Strongbow would be the first bottled in Nigeria cider drink to hit the Nigerian market. At the launch of the new drink at the car park of Ikeja City Mall, Nigeria Breweries took attendees on an experiential journey on the step-by-step process of making Strongbow.
Ngozi Nkwoji, Senior Brand Manager, Strongbow said that the experiential approach was deliberate as the company wanted to demonstrate that Strongbow was made from real apples, not apple flavour like some other beverages in the market.
She added that “consumers are looking for an alternative to other flavoured alcoholic beverages. Strongbow is made from real apples and it is natural,” she said.
According to her, Strongbow is targeted at 18 to 30 year olds. “We have consumers coming up who may not drink other alcoholic beverages, they are looking for something lighter, not as heavy, something they can enjoy on a lighter note with friends and that is what cider does for them. It is natural and refreshing.”
At the media parley organised by the company, someone asked if the introduction of Strongbow was as a result of a competing brand, Snap, already in the market from a rival company. Ngozi was quick to put that line of thinking to rest by saying that Strongbow was in a class all by itself, as it is the only cider drink manufactured in Nigeria and it is different from other alcoholic fruit drink.
“Apart from the fact that the bottles are similar and the colours are similar, Snap is an apple flavoured drink, this is an apple cider made from real apples as opposed to apple flavor. The only other ciders that are in the market are imported ones sold in big shops like Shoprite and they sell for about N250 as against Strongbow that sells for N190,” she said.
According to Nigerian Breweries, Strongbow is a product of research which proved there is still a market yet to be reached.