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UK cider market booming thanks to flavoured fruit ciders

Press Release   •   Feb 25, 2013 11:44 GMT

The UK cider market has a long tradition of consumption but historically this has been restricted to certain regions; the West Country and the North East where consumers enjoy a sweeter cider.

Today, cider is reaching out to new parts of the UK and this is helping to sustain category growth. The category saw a 1% increase in 2011. However, if you discount the flavored cider figures, then the apple and pear ciders (perry) have actually seen a very small decline for the year.

Cider has a strong appeal to women. It states that flavour innovation has been vital in the continued growth of the cider market and making it appealing to younger consumers and women.

White ciders, which had initially been offered as a premium proposition, continue to fade to well under 10% of the market. These strong ciders tarnished the good name of cider and for many years prompted the category to struggle with image problems. They will be hard hit by the minimum pricing. CandC Group has followed Heineken UK's lead and decided to leave the segment.
Main players lose volume and share as smaller brands drive innovation.

In the on-premise the cider market was handicapped by the continued deterioration of the packaged segment. Halewood's Crabbies has gained good listings in the on-trade and is a thorn in the side of the over-ice brands. Strongbow, the leading draught brand by quite some way, dropped back but this was compensated for by the rise of Stowford Press and Thatchers Gold.

The vogue segment today is flavored cider, it is drawing drinkers from other alcoholic categories into the cider arena. Kopparberg and Rekorderlig have been instrumental in developing this segment but as with pear ciders, the big packaged players have also been attracted into the category.

Sales of fruit-flavoured cider have soared in the past year to make it the UK's fastest growing alcoholic drink sector, figures reveal.

Since being launched in the UK three years ago, fruit ciders such as elderflower and lime, berry fruits and even cloudberry from Scandinavia have grown in popularity and number, with about 30 varieties now on offer.

In the past year sales for home consumption have soared by 80% to create a market worth £113 million a year. The arrival of pear and fruit ciders in the mid-2000s has more than doubled the value of the total UK cider market in just four years to £873 million.

Three in five adults now drink cider, significantly up from the previous year's total of 47%. This progress means that in 2012, a greater share of adults drank cider than spirits.

Three years ago Tesco was one of the first big shops to start selling fruit ciders and initially sold six flavours; it now sells 27.

Cider is even closing in on beer in terms of usage, a market which has struggled to retain its base of drinkers in recent years, standing at 70% in 2012.

While its recent successes have helped a number of cider producers to grow rapidly, Mintel research shows that the market's future prospects could be equally positive as, even among cider drinkers, 23% state that it does not always occur to them to drink it.

For more information on the UK cider market, see the latest research: UK Cider Market

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