Anheuser-Busch plans crossover appeal to men with Johnny Appleseed cider launch

While most ciders skew towards female consumers, Anheuser-Busch InBev launched its Johnny Appleseed product with the goal of appealing to both men and women.

ST. LOUIS: While most ciders skew towards female consumers, Anheuser-Busch InBev launched its Johnny Appleseed product with the goal of appealing to both men and women.

The cider, which hit shelves last month supported by its first national TV ad this week, will be available on bar taps this summer.

"We’re looking for that group of early professionals who are looking for something a little bit different and outside of the box," explained Nick Kelly, marketing communications manager at Anheuser-Busch.

The company has been developing Johnny Appleseed since 2011. Kelly explained that when the company was in the process of creating the cider, it received feedback from 650 to 700 consumers across the US, UK, and Canada.

To reach its key audience of consumers 21 to 34 years old, the brand is working on summer initiatives in key markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston that will include product tastings, he added.

Kelly said that while the brand doesn’t have any sponsorships planned, it will try to partner with events this summer to boost distribution.

Anheuser-Busch InBev PR agency partner Weber Shandwick has worked to get the word out about the cider since its launch was made public in March, said Kelly. The firm planned an exclusive story with USA Today about the product. Going forward, it will engage trade and consumer media to keep the momentum going.

Another primary focus is promoting the brand’s commercial, which is available on YouTube and features Chromeo’s song "Jealous."

Kelly said the company chose the song because it wanted to "anticipate what may be popular" when the product and commercial are released.

He added that the company has not finalized budget numbers.

Other Anheuser-Busch InBev ciders include Stella Artois Cidre and Michelob Ultra Light Cider.

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