Cider maker Kopparberg has denied speculation it plans to fight the government over duty levels on flavoured cider and perry.

The duty on a typical 15 x 500ml case of 4.5% abv cider is currently £2.16, but on an equivalent cider with added juices from fruits other than apples and pears, duty rises to £4.49. 

Industry commentators suggested last week that Cider of Sweden, Kopparberg’s brand owner, was gearing up to lobby ministers for duties to be lowered through the amendment of the HMRC classification for ciders with fruit. 

However, MD Davin Nugent insisted this week that he would not be pushing the government to change legislation.

“We would prefer to be in a different situation but we will not be making a huge fuss about this,” he said. “It’s just the way our market operates and we have to accept that.” 

The National Association of Cider Makers said no other cider or perry brands had complained. “The issue of the appropriate duty is for the government to manage, not the cider industry,” said spokesman Simon Russell. 

“A bigger issue is the confusion over the labelling of ciders with fruit juices. For example, there is no such thing as ‘strawberry cider’ although several brands are marketed thus.”