The summer brought a surge in cider sales, with fruit-flavoured drinks basking most in the sun.
Overall off-trade cider volumes rose 16% in the three months from June to August this year - the equivalent of consumers drinking 33.9 million pints more than in summer 2012. Value sales rocketed 23% year on year to £307.7m [Nielsen].
Of this summer’s 10 biggest ciders by volume, one of the strongest performers was Kopparberg Mixed Fruit, which rose 78% by value.
“The sun must take a lot of the credit but our latest ad campaign has also been very effective,” said Kopparberg MD Davin Nugent.
Kopparberg was a pioneer of the fruit-flavoured cider market, which has tapped into growing consumer demand for sweeter-tasting drinks and attracted the attention of major drinks industry players.
“We have seen some pretty big tanks land on our lawn but have continued to grow,” said Nugent.
One of these ‘tanks’ is Heineken, with its new Strongbow Dark Fruit racking up almost £12m in sales by the end of August, while Strongbow pear grew 81% in value. The company said both had brought incremental growth to the everyday cider category, and denied they were cannibalising the parent brand, which grew just 3% by value.
“We have maintained sales of Original from an already high base,” said Heineken. The brewer’s Bulmers Crushed Red Berries & Lime (previously Bulmers No 17) grew 68% year on year. Once again, the parent brand fared less well.
Meanwhile, Stella Artois Cidre grew behind the overall cider market, as did Magners, Scrumpy Jack and Aston Manor’s Frosty Jack’s.