Food & Drink


Stealing away with the cream of the crop

BY Jason Tan | Aug 16, 2017 | News

Heineken Malaysia has revealed its new tipple, and it is smart, young and furry. Apple Fox Cider is its second cider brand after Strongbow, and the pre-launch campaign naturally played on the foxiness of the brand with a slew of WTF taglines.   

It’s a great  move because lower-alcohol cider has cross-gender appeal and complements beer better than wine does, especially in this climate. Apple Fox Cider is said to be New Zealand-inspired, and sweetly crisp like the refreshing new-world air.

Esquire has tracked down Apple Fox Cider’s original lair, and we think it is Orchard Thieves, originally brewed by the Redwood Cider Co in the home of the All-Blacks. The Orchard Thieves brand extends to Ireland too, where it’s made from fruit sourced from around Europe in Heineken N.V’s cider mill in Hereford in the UK.

Elsewhere, in the Netherlands, it’s called Apple Bandit, for the fox that always steals away with the cream of crop. Heineken describes Orchard Thieves as “originally coming from New Zealand and domesticated in Europe … It’s as sly as the fox and thus can be found in different markets under different names”.

All the above are good examples of product localisation. What’s Apple Fox Cider’s schtick over here? Last we checked there are no apple orchards in this country apart from the odd patch in East Malaysia.

But cider brings to mind plump apples, happy juice, real farmers and mother nature. So for Heineken Malaysia’s next CSR project, Esquire suggests extending this natural link by shining a light on the wonderful but endangered flying fox endemic to the nusantara.

This would be a great follow-up to its admirable Tiger awareness campaign and cultivate renewed public appreciation for the region’s brilliantly lush life. The flying fox is a pollinator and thus pivotal to the rude health of the rainforest. How many brands can say they give a flying fox about anything real?