Australian family business Fruit Sliders has introduced an alcoholic product – Pineapple Sliders – using 100-per-cent pure pineapple.
However, while the drink is similar in composition to traditional ciders made from pears or apples, Australian law prevents it from being described as a cider.
Founder Anthony Bear said the idea of making cider came up in late 2014, but with an avalanche of craft beers and ciders hitting the market he realised they had to come up with something unique to stand out. That’s when the idea of using pure pineapples dawned on the team.
After originally launching in 2015 using the word cider in the name, legal challenges from a multinational producer saw a long drawn out dispute with authorities which eventually ruled the word cider could only be used for drinks made with apples or pears.
“There were no blueprints with regards to formulation, as there are with more mainstream products like apple, pear, and grape-based products, as well as with most craft beers, so we had to invent the wheel so to speak,” recalls Bear.
The product was withdrawn from sale and after a sabbatical and more development, now it has returned with a new formulation and new branding description, Fruit Silder,
Fruit Sliders cannot use the phrase ‘cider’ in any advertising, promotional material or packaging. “This has also meant we cannot enter cider awards, go to cider events, or even join the industry body Cider Australia,” laments Beard.
It took the family until late last year to come up with the reformulated Pineapple Sliders that meet all relevant regulations and followed “many trials, errors and preparation”.
The pineapples used in the drink are sourced from Queensland. They are unsweetened, meaning there is no added sugar in the beverage, it is gluten-free, fully pasteurised and contains 8 per cent ABV, equivalent to 1.7 standard drinks per 275ml bottle.
With the company’s pineapple brew now on the market, Fruit Sliders has more innovations in the pipeline using different kinds of tropical fruit. But after struggling to formulate sliders with watermelons and mandarins it is sticking to pineapples for now.
The product range is now available online at the company’s website and Amazon with the price at $17.50 for a pack of four.
Bear says the product is targeted to consumers aged 25 to 50, with a slight skew towards males.