This follows the release of Hudson Blue and Cashel’s cider from Diageo in the past.
Rockshore Cider is set to take on the already-established brands Bulmers (from C&C with about 50% of the Irish cider market) and Orchard Thieves (from Heineken Ireland which now enjoys around 15% of the Irish market since OT’s launch in 2015).
Then there are the lesser brands: Outcider from Bulmers and Appleman’s from Heineken, which have been launched more recently.
According to the Times, “Analysts at Goodbody stockbrokers told the firm’s clients on Wednesday that its research suggests Diageo is gearing up for another crack at the cider market”.
Diageo Ireland does not comment on industry speculation but the stockbroking firm reckoned that the brand could be launched as early as St Patrick’s Day.
While C&C’s results to the end of February are yet to be published, cider accounted for around 35% of C&C Group’s net profits while net revenues at C&C Ireland fell again in the year to 28th February 2018 by 5.5% to €215.0 million from €227.6 million the previous year. Total Irish volumes were also down by 5.8%.
“We estimate that Bulmers represents [about] 45% of [C&C] Ireland profits – it had been as high as 65% – with Bulmers draught accounting for [about] 8% of Ireland profits,” Goodbody analyst Jason Molins told the Irish Times.
While rumours have been going around the trade, according to LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe, “We are aware of a trade announcement on 7th March but we’ve had no information on the detail of this announcement”.