Somersby is a premium brand of the Danish concern Carlsberg Breweries. In 2012, Budweiser Budvar became the sole importer of Somersby Apple Cider to the Czech Republic. The interest of Czech customers has proved a high business potential of this alcohol beverage, which makes an appealing alternative to malt alcoholic beverages, mixed beer drinks as well as wine.
“Customers accepted the Somersby brand very well. Last year we substantially increased the sales volume in both distribution channels - ON TRADE and OFF TRADE. Furthermore, we have recently begun communicating in Czech on the global Facebook profile and have launched a local Czech website as well,” says Budweiser Budvar’s local sales department’s manager Martin Horejš. The product range extension by new Somersby Pear Cider was instrumental in the last year’s sales rise, so was a higher number of places of sale. “We feel customers are greatly interested, therefore we are providing them with a third version of Somersby cider with a blackberry flavour,” adds Martin Horejš.
Somersby Blackberry Cider is a refreshing drink with a slight tinge of natural blackberry. Its flavour is sweet and slightly sparkling. It appeals to both women and men who enjoy an urban lifestyle, spending a lot of time with friends, thinking positively, willing to experiment and seeking unusual savouring experiences. Representing an ideal choice for relaxing moments with friends, it tastes best served cooled over ice. Somersby Blackberry Cider has an alcohol content of 4.5%. It is going to be supplied on the Czech market in 0.33 litre non-returnable bottles and sold all around the country in retails as well as gastronomic facilities, with the final price in shops ranging around CZK 25 for a bottle.
General information about cider
A fermented apple beverage was known as far back as the ancient times; it was called “sikera“ in Greek, “sicera“ in Latin and “šekar“ in Hebrew. The first medieval messages on cider production in Europe date back to the times of Charles the Great. The first research publication on cider production De vino et pomaceo was elaborated by Charles IX.’s personal doctor in 1588. Cider has been very popular in Western Europe these days. English-speaking countries call it “cider“, French call it „cidre“, Spanish and Portuguese „sidra“. In 2010, about 15 million hectolitres of cider were consumed in Europe. Since 2000 its consumption has been continuously growing, with the sales annually increasing by 3% on average. As the market research indicates, this trend is going to continue in the forthcoming years as well. The beverage is quite unknown in the Czech Republic for the time being.
Good-quality cider is made from a special strain of apples. Usually it is mixed from several apple strains in order to achieve the appropriate proportion of sweetness, bitterness and acidity of the initial cider. The extracted apple-must ferments in stainless steel tanks with controlled temperature of fermentation that allows the preservation of aromatic substances in the beverage. Then it is racked into bottles, where the final fermentation can take place making the cider slightly sparkling. As a result of the final fermentation a haze can occur at the bottom of the bottles, which is not harmful. In accordance with the alcohol volume, cider is classified as sweet (under 3 % of alcohol), medium-dry (3 - 5%) and dry (above 5%).