Evolving an Innovation for its Second Stage of Growth

How 5 Seeds Night Orchard Tapped into a New Generation of Cider Drinkers



How To Impact invented 5 Seeds for Lion Nathan as an challenger brand to existing cider offers, with stronger beer credentials and an unconventional personality designed to enfranchise male drinkers. It quickly rose to be the number 2 brand in the category.

But cider has exploded in recent years with dozens of new entrants, offering premium, craft and flavoured offers that eroded 5 Seeds point of differentiation and pushed cider towards a more female drinker base again.

Our challenge was to build an innovation strategy in line with a refreshed brand positioning that would drive the next stage of growth for 5 Seeds.


We blended design-thinking, consumer co-creation and lean start-up methodologies – working from a series of initial hypotheses through the iterative evolution of executional insights and solutions with in-depth consumer and trade immersion.

This required us to ‘build’ our own cider prototypes from scratch, working with the brewery and our own technical food experts to design and develop new syrups and purees, so that we could add these to batches of an unflavoured, stronger ‘dry fermented’ cider base, inspired by ‘unconventional’ cooking & brewing methods.

At the same time, we evolved brand identities and designs so that we could generate ‘true’ consumer and trade reactions.

By the end of the process, we had created a qualitatively-robust innovation strategy and pipeline comprising: positionings, sub-brand identities, brew recipes and implementation plan.


Our strategy comprised 3 complementary, sequential innovation spaces that would drive consideration and conversion with under-represented consumer segments and occasions. These were based on a central proposition of ‘unconventional wisdom’ that entailed a blending of unconventional cider wisdom, borrowed from authentic, natural traditions.

The majority of cider is consumed in the early part of the evening, because some consider it too sweet.

The most unconventional of the 3 innovation spaces targeted the later evening occasion with a stronger, less sweet offer which we named ‘Night Orchard’. Night Orchard was launched in 2016.