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Bulmers Original is marketed outside Ireland as Magners
Bulmers Original Vintage Cider is a brand of cider produced in Ireland. To prevent confusion with the English cider of the same name, it is sold outside of Ireland as Magners Original Irish Cider.
Commercial cider production was started in Clonmel, County Tipperary in 1935, by local man William Magner. Magner bought the orchard from a Mr Phelan from Clonmel. Magner quickly established a successful business, and in 1937 he joined forces with the English cider-makers H. P. Bulmer and Company. Dowds Lane in Clonmel was the location of this burgeoning enterprise.
In 1949 Magner withdrew from the business and the Bulmers name came to the fore. However H.P. Bulmer maintained international rights to the Bulmers trade mark, which prevented the Irish company exporting the brand from Ireland. In the 1960s the company moved due to the expansion of its business, to the outskirts of the town to what is known as the Annerville site, a 250 acre plot of which 150 acres is orchard and 100 acres industrial plant and land.
In 1964 the company name was changed to Showerings (Ireland) Ltd. Soon after, the company moved its main processing operations to a new complex at Annerville, five kilometres from the centre of Clonmel heading east on the N24 Waterford road, which was opened in 1965 by the then Taoiseach, Seán Lemass.
Today Irish Bulmers Ltd. employs more than 470 people and is a substantial part of the economic infrastructure of the community of Clonmel. It is owned by C&C, one of Ireland's biggest drinks companies.
The Magners brand
The success of Bulmers cider in Ireland led to the development of Magners Cider. The concept was originally developed by Stuart Wootten, who argued that the international growth of Irish pubs provided a natural market for an indigenous Irish drink such as Magners. The label is identical to Bulmers, except for the name.
The product is made identically for both the Bulmers and Magners names. It is available in 330 ml, pint, litre and 750 ml bottles and 500 ml cans, and is traditionally served over ice. It is also available in most Irish bars on draught and Magners is available in some bars on draught in Scotland. Initially only available in Spain, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the brand saw its popularity increase significantly in recent years and is now available across the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States.
In early 2007, Bulmers and Magners also released Bulmers/Magners Light, which is a low calorie version of the cider boasting only 92 calories per 330ml bottle.
In March 2009, Bulmers launched a new perry (marketed as "Pear Cider") called Bulmers Pear.
In February 2010, Bulmers launched new Bulmers Berry. It is a unique blend of 17 varieties of apple, similar to Bulmers Original, fused with blackcurrants, raspberries and strawberries with an ABV of 4.5%. It will be available in Pint Bottle and Longneck in the licensed trade and 500ml can in grocery.
The current TV campaign for Bulmers in Ireland (mirrored by Magners in international markets) involves adverts that run in each of the seasons. They show a brief shot of an orchard in seasonal conditions - bare and snow covered in winter, lush and green with sunny skies in summer - at the start of the advert, and then show how people enjoy the drink during these seasons - by a warm fire in winter, out in the warm sun during summer.
Drinking cider with ice mirrors the move towards chilled and "extra-cold" beers. Magners' success has led the UK's cider market-leader Scottish & Newcastle to introduce 'Sirrus', a version of its Strongbow cider produced specifically to be poured over ice. In 2006 they also relaunched Bulmers Original in the UK, a premium packaged cider.
The Magners brand is the title sponsor of rugby union's Celtic League featuring the top teams from Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Magners sponsored the 2007 Brighton Festival Fringe. The company also once produced Cidona, a popular soft drink in Ireland which along with all of the companys other soft drinks was sold to Britvic in 2007.
The Magners brand was also one of the main sponsors of the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is the main sponsor of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival.