Sir: I was interested to read your article ‘Beer & wine hit hard as booze brands falter’ (20 July). Quoting data from Nielsen Scantrack [52 w/e 27 April 2013], you suggest that Westons Cider’s business is in decline in the off-trade.
This is completely contradictory to the market data we buy from IRI, which records Westons Cider’s brands growing 13% in value and 9% in volume in the off-trade for the same time period. Both figures are significantly ahead of the cider category and are reflected in our own internal sales figures. The Grocer is a very influential title and we want to take the opportunity of reassuring readers that Westons Cider is enjoying the busiest year in our 133-year history. Key brands such as Henry Westons, Old Rosie and Wyld Wood continue to lead their respective categories and, buoyed by some extraordinary weather, sales in July alone were up by 119%.
Geoff Bradman, head of UK Sales, Westons Cider
The Editor responds: In the article referred to above, The Grocer incorrectly reported that volume sales of Westons cider had fallen in the 52-week period ending 27 April. Nielsen data for the period had in fact stated that volumes sales had increased 6% year-on-year over the period.