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Category innovation unbalanced between fruit and apple cider, says Westons

Published:  30 June, 2016

Work needs to be done to get fruit cider drinkers to explore the rest of the category.

The UK represents just under half of the global cider market, with on-trade sales hitting £1.8 billion last year.

But while consumers are trading up on quality, Westons' first ever Cider Report, says that innovation in cider has been unbalanced in terms of fruit ciders and the rest of the category.

A spokesperson for Westons said: "A high proportion of fruit cider drinkers are young and affluent, and some drink only fruit ciders in their cider repertoire: there is opportunity to widen their taste experience into other types of cider, such as cloudy (unfiltered cider), vintage (cider made from a single year's harvest), single variety (ciders made with one apple variety) and mulled cider."

Bill Bradshaw, one half of video-based project The Cider Hunters examining cider cultures around the world, said he hoped that the industry makes the most of opportunities to encourage consumers to explore a wider variety of ciders.

Elsewhere, the report painted a picture of "stalling growth" (2.7% YoY growth) in the cider industry as preminumisation leads to declining volume but increased value.

Bill Bradshaw said: "I see positivity in some areas of decline as consumers become more aware about what they are buying. As an industry, we should embrace this and invest in it: further education will bring greater awareness to younger consumers.

He went on to say that 'quality, Britishness and innovation' are as important for maintaining the interest of core cider fans as they are for newer, younger consumers.

"If successful, both camps could be encouraged to choose cider more often, and spend more on it when they do. I think price is less of a factor than it was, and both core cider drinkers over 35 years, and cooler 'hipster' types will buy more authentic and interesting ciders, over cheaper paler alternatives. Larger producers who focus on well made, higher juice ciders made with freshly pressed British bittersweet apples, are likely to benefit from it in coming years," he added.

? Apple cider is declining by -5.7% YoY but still represents 70% of cider volume.

? Fruit cider is growing by +34% YoY and now accounts for 26% of cider volume. It accounts for 60.3% of packaged cider, but growth has slowed to +7.8% YoY. It has been introduced on draught, where it accounts for 9.5% of draught cider volume.

? Pear cider remains in significant decline.