They blamed it on the washout summer. They blamed it on increased competition. But with Magners posting another disappointing set of results, has the bubble burst for the darling of the drinks trade these past three years? C&C, the team that brought us cider over ice, had a 2007 it will want to forget. Scottish & Newscastle relaunched rival Bulmers to stunning effect, and using its muscle in the on-trade, has been killing the Irish tipplemaker's efforts. Better news comes from the off-trade, where Magners has increased sales, up 126% at the last count [w/e 6 Oct 2007], though S&N is sure to respond. But the category remains in rude health. The fastest-growing category in our Top Products Survey 2007, it has seen new launches, including perries (now officially pear cider) and flavoured ciders (blueberry in this week's issue), and there's no sign that consumers are tiring as lager sales continue to decline. The message to C&C: more innovation needed, please. How about single-varietal Magners?