Eager to challenge consumer perception that cider is the preserve of big brands like Strongbow and Blackthorn, a plethora of smaller producers will be hoping to catch buyers’ eyes at the show.

Promising to provide the “answers to buyers’ prayers”, Knights Cider is introducing Malvern Gold and Malvern Oak ciders, both made from a blend of 100% bittersweet juice.  

Priced at £2.99, which the company says offers good margins for retailers, the newcomers are designed to complement the existing Malvern Gold Medium Reserve. Each bottle is said to contain at least two and a half pounds of homegrown apples.

The company will promote the range as an accompaniment to food and emphasise the fact that the production process does not involve use of apple concentrates, artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners.

In the organic field, Sheppy’s Cider is launching two new additions at the show. It has taken the company, whose other ciders are already stocked in Waitrose, Budgens and Booths, three years to convert land into an organic orchard.

The first pressings are limited to 60,000 litres, although Sheppy’s intends to convert more land if the Organic Dry and Medium ciders prove popular with shoppers. Like Knights Cider, Sheppy’s uses only homegrown apples in its drinks.

Biddenden Vineyards will offer visitors samples of its cider and raise awareness of its wines, which are produced in Kent. The range includes a Gribble Bridge Dornfelder, rosé and white, from the 2002 vintage.

Devon-based Bramley & Gage will be showing off its innovative portfolio of fruit and herb liqueurs plus a selection of sloe and damson gins.

The company says it uses locally sourced fruit in the production, which involves pressing the fruit to extract the juice before it is pasteurised. Pure cane sugar and spirit are then added and the liqueurs are left to clarify and mature in small containers.

Bramley & Gage says this method “ensures that as much of the natural flavour, freshness and colour of the fruit as possible is kept”. Its products are also free from colourings or preservatives.

In contrast to the homegrown virtues of these UK suppliers, a Swedish microbrewer will be showcasing a beer made with genetically modified ingredients.

Kenth lager is produced using a GM maize called Bt maize, which the brewer Kenth Persson says is as safe and healthy as conventional alternatives.

Samples of the lager will be available for tasting on the exhibition stand of the Agricultural Biotech Council.