Premium cider producers are looking forward to a golden future with many reporting record sales.
Exclusive research for The Grocer shows that Scottish Courage’s Strongbow still leads the way in value terms in cider, up 8% to £108m, according to ACNielsen [MAT to w/e April 16, 2005], with a 32% value share of the market.
However, smaller premium producers are also seeing strong sales. Cider producer Aspall said 2004 was the best year ever in its 227-year history, while Thatchers Cider also recorded its highest sales ever in an “unprecedented trading year”, according to MD Martin Thatcher. Premium brand Merrydown Cider also reported a successful year.
It comes as ScotCo announces an investment of £5m for its premium 5% abv Strongbow Sirrus brand, in addition to its £22m investment behind Strongbow this year, which will provide a significant boost to the cider market.
Keith Hogg, MD of sales at ScotCo, said Sirrus would appeal to the growing segment of younger cider drinkers as well as those wanting super- chilled drinks. While Sirrus will be competing with the Irish ‘serve-over-ice’ brand Magners, Hogg said both brands were a boost to the cider category.
ScotCo has eliminated Extra Free offers from its leading White Lightning brand, reducing pack sizes from three to two litres, as part of its responsible drinking campaign.
n See Focus on Beer and Cider in The Grocer next week.