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Heineken USA Brings Surging Strongbow In-House

August 15, 2012

Heineken is set to take over U.S. distribution of its Strongbow cider brand from Vermont Hard Cider Co., which has served as the brand’s U.S. importer for the past nine years. The move, effective January 1, 2013, will see Heineken attempt to position Strongbow as “the leading upscale cider brand in the U.S.”

An import from the U.K., Strongbow ($9.49-$9.99 a six-pack) rose by 16.1% last year to nearly 800,000 cases. It was up 18% for this year’s first half and is projected to hit at least 900,000 cases for 2012, Vermont Hard Cider Co. president and CEO Bret Williams recently told SND.

“We see this as a pivotal moment to further accelerate Strongbow’s growth by supporting the brand with the full weight of Heineken USA’s resources and capabilities,” said Heineken USA president and CEO Dolf van den Brink. Heineken added Strongbow to its portfolio in 2008 via its joint acquisition (with Carlsberg) of Scottish & Newcastle. The cider brand joins a Heineken USA lineup that has made several additions in recent months, including Newcastle Limited Editions, Amstel Wheat, Mexican dark brew Indio and the forthcoming Tecate Michelada.

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