Home' National Liquor News : NLN SEPT 2016 Contents CIDER
48 | SEPTEMBER 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
festival can SKU, and its Spiced Äpple Cider, a 500ml bottle aimed at
fortifying the brand against the traditional winter downturn, where
drinkers can turn away from cider.
"As cider becomes more a part of people's repertoires, consumers are
looking for different pack formats to meet different occasions," says
Rekorderlig marketing manager, Nikki Langford.
NO LONGER THE LOW-HANGING FRUIT
While the success of many categories has fluctuated with consumer
whims, cider has been more susceptible to changing trends than most.
For decades, Adelaide stalwart Coopers Brewery remained sceptical of its
waning and waxing popularity and steered clear of cider. Coopers was
finally won over by the growing category in 2014, inking a distribution
deal with UK favourite, Thatchers Gold, which it has since embraced.
Cam Pearce, the national sales and marketing director of Coopers, says
that cider consumers are self-educating and keen to explore a category
perceived as relatively healthy.
"Drinkers are increasingly looking to experiment with different styles
and flavours of drinks. Cider, being derived from apples, is also seen as a
'natural' product which attracts interest."
It's an opinion seconded by Sam Reid, who co-founded award-winning
Tasmanian cidery Willie Smith's and also serves as the president of Cider
Australia. Reid says that cider has benefitted from its positioning as both
a healthier and 'authentic' option for drinkers, helping it to scoop up a
wide cross-section of consumers.
"Cider is perceived as a healthier alternative to beer, and a lower-
alcohol alternative to wine as well, so it sits nicely between those
two. That's driving the overall category, [as is] the fact it's also a nice
alternative to pre-mixed spirits as well, which people are tending to shy
away from due to that perception of non-authenticity," he says.
Euromonitor International research analyst Sara Agostino suggests cider
occupies the 'Goldilocks zone' for younger drinkers: "Individuals prefer
the drink as, whilst it is not as sweet as RTDs, it is a more palatable option
than wine. Being produced largely from either apples or pears, cider/perry
is also considered to be more wholesome and nutritious."
Agostino believes that the "honeymoon period" underpinning much of
cider's growth in recent years has faded, and that in its wake the category
is currently experiencing a "transition from exotically-flavoured ciders,
such as strawberry and lime, and elderflower and lime, towards simpler
flavours that focus on provenance and ingredient quality -- the novelty
aspect no longer attracts customers," she says.
Among those looking to tap into the healthier image of cider, Bacardi
recently launched a new variant of Magners, the 4.5 per cent ABV, low-
carb Magners Blonde. On the provenance front, Agostino singles out
Quality Beverages' Bear Essentials' Pineapple Cider as one new entrant
effectively promoting its local roots.
AUTHENTICITY AND CRAFT ON THE RISE
So if the honeymoon is over, does that mean an imminent downturn in
cider? Don't count on it. Euromonitor is forecasting annualised growth
of five per cent into the next decade, reaching 132 million litres by 2020,
and individual brands are banking on surging interest in provenance and
origin stories to consolidate cider's growth.
"The world we live in is looking for authenticity. People are more and
more distrustful of being marketed to, and I think that people like to
feel their choices are being made on a more authentic basis," says Cider
Australia's Reid. His Willie Smith's cidery, located in Tasmania's Huon
Valley, has spent the last few years rolling out an "incredible amount"
of collaborations with the likes of craft breweries Moo Brew, Stomping
Group and Hobart Brewing Company, and whisky-maker Lark Distillery.
"CIDER IS PERCEIVED AS A HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE
TO BEER, AND A LOWER-ALCOHOL ALTERNATIVE TO
WINE AS WELL, SO IT SITS NICELY BETWEEN
THOSE TWO. THAT'S DRIVING THE OVERALL
CATEGORY, [AS IS] THE FACT IT'S ALSO A NICE
ALTERNATIVE TO PRE-MIXED SPIRITS AS WELL,"
SAM REID, CIDER AUSTRALIA AND WILLIE SMITH'S.
Willie Smith's The
Apple Shed Museum.
Thatchers apples. Somersby Instagram campaign.
Apples from the orchard.
Image provided by Somersby.
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