S&N cuts strength of white cider

27 March, 2009

Scottish & Newcastle is reducing the abv of its White Lightning cider brand "to encourage responsibility" in the white cider sector.

The current strength of 7.5% will be reduced to 5.5% in May.

Mark Gerken, off-trade sales managing director, said: "White cider continues to attract a high level of negative media and government attention."

The abv would not return to 7.5% in the future, he said.

The company said that white cider represents a very small and declining percentage of the cider industry.

It admitted that white cider was often seen as a "problem drink", but added that those who enjoyed it responsibly would not object to the lower strength.

Gerken added: "While it would be very easy for us to stop producing White Lightning, we recognise that this approach leaves both customers and consumers with only cheaper alternatives.

"Having spent a number of years attempting to lead the way towards a more responsible approach to white ciders, we feel that the time is right to offer

a more responsible alternative."

The latest news follows S&N's removal of all extra-fill promotions and 3-litre packs in 2004.

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