Apple retains lead cider role despite strong fruit growth

Drinks: Ciders, Drinks
Location: England

Apple flavoured cider remains the dominant force in the UK, despite flavoured reporting continued double-digit growth.

While unflavoured cider accounts for two-thirds of sales in the on-trade, the growth in ‘fruit’ ciders comes at the expense of pear cider, which has dwindled to just 3%, according to Westons recently published Cider Report.

Cider in the UK is worth almost £2.9bn, yet it only accounts for less than 7% of total alcohol sales in the UK. While volumes have stayed pretty level, value has grown by 2%, indicating the move towards more premium ciders. The mighty on-trade accounts for almost two-thirds of sales in both value and volume terms.

Westons Draught accounts for two-thirds of sales in the on-trade, with the top five brands led by Strongbow and Strongbow Dark Fruit. The latter soaks up three-quarters of this volume.

Cider remains pretty much gender-neutral, with women and millennials showing a slight preference for bottle or can, and men voting for draught. Packaged sales are dominated by fruit ciders, with Magners Original the exception, nestled in between Kopparberg, Rekorderlig and Bulmers.

With fridge space always under pressure, Westons recommends adapting the cider range according to whether the venue is wet or dry led, and according to its ‘tempo’. While apple-based ciders are regarded as more appropriate for food-led pubs or bars, fruit-based ciders are ‘more suited to higher tempo occasions’.

Data in the Westons Cider Report 2017 is drawn from a number of sources, including CGA, MCA and Kantar.

About Author

Susanna Forbes

Journalist, editor and drinks judge, Susanna Forbes specialises in beer, cider, English wine and drinks tourism. Regularly to be found on Twitter @DrinkBritain, she’s recently bought an orchard in Herefordshire with her husband, James, to start their own cider business.

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