Orchard Thieves Cider

Brand overhaul in Australia and New Zealand


Orchard Thieves Cider was a brand that wasn’t playing in the growth areas of cider, and needed an overhaul to be able to compete at scale. Even more worrying was that this was taking place in a category experiencing strong growth in New Zealand and Australia year on year. Another difficulty with the cider market is that once you get past apples and orchards, it becomes difficult to differentiate brands in what is a relatively functional space. Compounding the need to provide emotional distinctiveness is that consumers are increasingly becoming repertoire drinkers, meaning they are more brand agnostic in today’s world. And as we know, the more people feel, the more they buy. 

Dominion Breweries (DB) are the leader in the cider category in New Zealand and in a strong position at the forefront of this growth. However, with the emergence of new cider brands like Somersby coming into the market, DB were looking to retain their existing share with brands within their portfolio as well as increase their market share by bringing new cider drinkers into the category. How to do it created a need for research.


As part of an initial exploratory project in both Australia and New Zealand, we identified key cider category drivers and various paths to success. A breakthrough insight was coming up with language to describe the emotional space that underpinned the cider category. We named this space ‘Popular Vitality’ and went about incorporating this core need into our cider offering. We also reviewed what DB had in their brand arsenal and looked at developing a new brand vs using an existing one and the strength of each strategy.


With this in mind, in partnership with DB we set out to create a winning apple cider proposition having decided to do this under the existing Orchard Thieves brand. The repositioning with ‘Popular Vitality’ at its heart. This included all the key touchpoints including liquid, comms, distribution and most importantly, packaging.

As a result of this project and One Picture's research not only did Orchard Thieves contribute to overall category growth in Australia and New Zealand, but they significantly increased their sales and market share for this brand in 12 months from launch. 

If you would like to know more about NPD, brand perceptions and positioning work, reach out to Keith (and to learn more about this successful project) KeithM@onepicture.com