Strongbow Apple Cider hit South Africa’s shores last month in a spectacular launch event in Braamfontein called The Butterfly Effect. I was present to witness the world’s most widely sold cider take root in the heart of Johannesburg. The Strongbow Apple Cider launch took place on a cloudy Saturday on the top level of the Neighbourgoods Market. I cannot guess at numbers but the market was particularly full that day.

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Strongbow had set up stands and beautiful art installations to accompany the event. All I was told was that I should hang around until 13:00 to watch some magic unfold. I don’t think I was ready for the sky to break open and hundreds of recycled paper butterflies to fall from the sky. I was totally delighted by the sight and the coolest part was when I caught one of the butterflies and looked at what was on it. Those paper butterflies were seeds. You could could plant your butterfly and grow something.

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I am always wary when big brands decide to take on causes because they often fail to link their effort to something that is relevant to them. Big companies forget that you can do good, just where you are.  Examples of great causes have been Unilever’s Lifebuoy hand washing campaign and now Strongbow’s #NatureRemix. Strongbow did something different and decided to focus on environmental impact in urban areas. This campaign has been in the making for a while. It started with local guerilla gardeners planting apple trees in an abandoned lot in Johannesburg’s CBD, and building a giant tree through the windows of an abandoned tower block.  You’ll be able to see this process in the video below. #NatureRemix is important because it forces us to look at our surroundings and bring back nature into the equation.

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I also got to experience some of Strongbow’s new flavour profiles. Look out for the new tastes of Gold Apple, Original Dry and Red Berries. I’m partial to Original Dry but there’s something for everyone.