The growth and future for cider was the focus for the Morning Advertiser 2018 Cider Summit. There has been a significant increase in the rise of cider sales. It’s certainly no surprise with the recent scorching sun we’ve been basking in. The UK is the biggest consumer of cider. The industry has had a successful year, growing in value by 3.5% in the last year. This contrasts with wine, beer, soft drinks and spirits volumes all declining.
Fruit cider has done especially well and 71% of cider volume in the on-trade is now being served on draught. The cider market has also seen an array of trends such as fruit variants and low-alcoholic beverages, as well as new product development and brands continuing to be prominent.
Intern Nikita Chumber reveals the low down on this year’s cider industry, from the successes and emerging trends to implications and the promising future…
Morning Advertiser 2018 Cider Summit: cider on the up
The Morning Advertiser 2018 Cider Summit uncovered that cider is becoming increasingly more global and popular outside of the UK. For example in the US- which is the third highest cider consuming country, after the UK and South Africa. This is mainly down to improved distribution in larger cities such a New York, where volume sales increased by 1.5%.
In the past year, there has been a growth in both the volume and value of cider. In the on-trade, cider and pear cider are now worth £1.86 billion, with fruit, draught and crafted cider leading the way. Fruit cider proved to be particularly popular, now representing 36% of all cider volume sold in the on-trade and also increasing by 10.1% in volume. In contrast to this, apple cider has had more of an uncertain year, with value down by 1.6% and volume also down by 3.7%.
Brands in the cider market
In terms of brands, Strongbow remains the most popular. However, it has seen a decline of 9% in volume and 8.2% in value. The next three biggest cider brands: Thatchers Gold, Magners Original and Stowford Press all saw a growth in both value and volume. Draught cider saw a growth in value (6.8%) and volume (4.5%). There have been significant inflationary pressures in 2017, as the average price per litre has increased by 13p, working out as an inflation of 2.2%.
This year’s cider industry in numbers:
There’s been a lot going on this year. Here are some key facts and figures to get your teeth into:
- 800 million litres of cider was consumed in the UK
- 287 million litres of cider and perry were consumed in the UK on-trade
- 36% of cider drinkers consume in the on-trade every week
- 49% cider drinkers prefer draught cider
- Pear cider has fallen a steep 22.6%
The cider report also gave some interesting insight in terms of gender. Overall, cider was enjoyed by men and women equally. However, it was discovered that fruit cider was consumed considerably more by females, who made up an impressive 67% of fruit cider drinkers. Senior client manager at CGA, Sian Brennan stated that it’s ‘good news’ for cider overall.
Evolving trends in the cider market
It’s always useful to keep your eye on the latest trends, especially as the needs and interests of consumers are constantly changing. There are three significant trends that consumers should be conscious of:
- The rise of non-alcoholic and low-alcoholic beverages.
- The increase in consumers adopting a more health-conscious lifestyle. As a result of this, we may be seeing more premium brands emerging with botanical themes (and not forgetting the sugar tax, which has been having an impact upon drinks choices).
- The demand for experience- consumers are all about having a unique and enjoyable visit at their chosen establishment.
The cider industry’s implications
Just like in any successful industry, there are some challenges and issues present, which were highlighted in the 2018 report. Firstly, the importance of local communities and the relationship between apple growing and cider making, as it is vital to balance the needs of large companies selling cider across the UK and also to consider the needs of smaller producers.
Other issues included how to support smaller businesses who want to expand. The summit looked at how the UK Government should promote cider on a global scale.
Furthermore, the cider industry needs to change in order to adapt to its consumers’ needs. This could be difficult as there appears to be a lack of consistency in rules and regulations in the cider industry. There is no clear definition for cider, for example. How does the sector overcome these issues? The Morning Advertiser sees the answer in growing a global network of cider associations.
What does the future hold for the cider market?
It is evident that the cider industry has been booming the past year and has a scope of diverse individuals who are investing in great cider… so what does the future hold for the cider industry?
There is no doubt that canned craft beer has become significantly popular. This also suggests that there is potential for craft cider to increase in popularity. Canned craft cider may be a strong area of growth in the future where producers are able to can their products on-site.
Furthermore, there is also the prospect of premiumisation as shown by ‘The Fine Cider Company’. They pride themselves upon having unique selling aspects such as specially hand-picking fruit and fermenting with only indigenous yeast. The company have outlined how cider could fit into the fine-dining sector, due to the acidity in cider making it the perfect pairing with any filling dish.
The Morning Advertiser 2018 Cider Summit shows a thriving sector. Overall, there seems to be an exciting and promising future in sight for the cider industry. The cider market is continuing to see more emerging, innovative brands and ideas coming to life. It is imperative that the industry is able to support local communities including farmers and cider makers.