Strongbow has unveiled its first “ultra-low” alcohol cider, with a 0.5% abv product aligned with its Dark Fruit variant.

Strongbow Dark Fruit 0.5%, which is also vegan and has 73 calories per bottle, will be available in a 4x33cl pack from March 2020.

The newcomer taps into the thriving low and no-alcohol category, within which cider is currently underrepresented, according to brand owner Heineken. Cider has a 15.8% share of the beer and cider low and no-alcohol category, compared to cider’s share of the beer and cider category, which is 18.4%.

The low and no-alcohol beer and cider category is currently growing at 24% and research shows there is a big opportunity for the off-trade within this.

Heineken also wants to tap into the 18-24 year-old sector, within which one third are reported to be teetotal.

Strongbow Dark Fruit is the second biggest cider in the UK behind Strongbow Original, and the launch of the 0.5% abv variant is expected to recruit new consumers to the brand.

 Rachel Holms, marketing director for Strongbow said: “Thousands of loyal Strongbow Dark Fruit fans will be rejoicing at this news — it’s a game changer for low and no alcohol.  People can now stick to their New Year’s resolutions and still enjoy the taste sensation of the nation’s favourite flavoured cider.”