Heineken has launched a pair of colourful drinks in a bid to draw more young adults into the beer and cider category.

Bulmers Zesty Blood Orange and Desperados Red are aimed at the 18 to 24-year-old market and backed by hefty marketing budgets.

Heineken classes Bulmers as a “modern cider’ – along with the likes of Magners and Gaymers – and said this category is suffering double-digit decline, according to Nielsen.

Zesty Blood orange is designed to revive its flagging fortunes and breathe new life into the category as the supplier said too many new releases have been similar and not attracted new consumers or retained existing ones.

Craig Clarkson, category and trade marketing director, said: “We have tried to have a fantastic looking product and one that tastes good. It is a bit more of a mature taste than the berry flavours.”

The 4% abv cider comes in 56.8cl and hits shelves this month.

Off-trade managing director Martin Porter said: “Flavoured ciders are the perfect response to the consumer trend that we are seeing in the market. At Heineken we take our leading cider position seriously, and by continuing to refresh the Bulmers range, we are meeting those new consumer demands that in turn grow sales for our customers.

“Bulmers Cider Zesty Blood Orange has already performed brilliantly in consumer taste tests and is in the top 10% of product concepts amongst the target audience. A great deal of thought and care has gone into developing this new flavour, to make sure it exceeds the high expectations that consumers now have for a Bulmers Cider. We are very confident it will deliver for our trade customers this year and beyond.”

The launch will be backed by a £5 million marketing campaign that includes TV advertising.

The new Desperados Red is flavoured with guarana – an ingredient often used in energy drinks – and cachaça.

It is designed for “drinkers going out later into high energy occasions”, according to Clarkson.

Like the original tequila beer, it has an abv of 5.9% and will be available in in 3x33cl bottles at an rrp of £6.85.

Porter said: “Desperados has led the way in establishing spirit beers in the UK, but consumer preferences are continually evolving, especially within the young adult age group. Now, more than ever, they expect exciting flavours and new ingredients from a brand they already love and trust.

“With its unexpected new taste, sales of Desperados Red in other countries have been outstanding which is why we are confident that the new flavour will be an important new addition to our UK customers’ premium packed beers offering, driving profitable sales and overall growth in the category.”

The launch of Desperados Red will be supported by a multimillion pound marketing spend, including handing out 500,000 free samples in city centres, festival and Student Unions, along with POS for retailers such as window takeovers, shelf wobblers, barkers, 3D Floor stickers and sound walls from directional speakers.