Firms say a range of sweet and light drinks should sell well in the sunshine
SUMMER is almost upon us again and in terms of drinks, this year could be a big one for everything fruity and light, say cider and wine firms.
Drinks companies claim these two categories are well positioned to prove popular in Scotland’s bars and pubs in the coming months.
Ben Turner of Swedish cider brand Kopparberg is optimistic that the cider category will deliver a strong performance this summer.
“Cider is synonymous with summer and the growth in fruit ciders is set to continue this year,” said Turner, adding that hot weather “drives the need for refreshment which is where the cider category really comes into its own”.
Quoting figures from research firm Mintel, Turner said that 70% of consumers consider cider more refreshing than beer on sunny days and that 83% view cider as a unisex drink.
“Cider is well placed to take advantage of the consumer trend towards lighter, sweeter taste profiles,” added Turner.
Andrew Turner of Heineken, whose portfolio includes Bulmers and Old Mout as well as Strongbow, agreed that flavoured ciders are “ideal” for mixed-gender groups this summer.
“Licensees should offer a range of premium packaged lagers and ciders to meet the repertoire drinking demands of today’s drinkers,” said Turner, who also reminded operators to promote their range throughout their venue this summer.
Name recognition will be key to making the most of the cider category this summer, according to Ed Shoebridge of C&C Group, the company behind the Magners, Gaymers and Hornsby’s brands.
“NPD now accounts for 21% of packaged cider volumes, but the category still heavily relies on core lines to generate sales,” he said.
Linsey Adams of Chilli Marketing, the firm which markets Rekorderlig in the UK, agreed it’s important operators “stock the category’s top performers”.
“Flavoured variants that have shown rapid growth are ‘must stocks’,” she said.
Adams suggested licensees increase their fruit cider range, describing flavoured cider as the “key driver” of the category, which is expected to be “one of the drinks industry’s stand-out products this summer”.
For operators looking to maximise sales, Adams said that a tailored summer menu “is a must”.
“We know that the flavoured cider category is driven by innovation, so summer menus should include limited edition variants that intrigue and excite consumers,” she said. “Operators should invest time in how their summer menu is presented to the consumer.
“Perfect serves are a great way to add value to each product served.”
She also highlighted a “growing trend” for cider cocktails. “They make for an interesting twist and the perfect sharing drink,” she said.
Fruit ciders aren’t the only drinks making inroads into the growing cocktail category.
Julie Ingham of Continental Wine & Food (CWF) highlighted “growing interest” in wine-based cocktails, suggesting operators can use these serves to “add interest to a drinks offering while boosting profits”.
And for operators unsure of how to build a range for the summer, Amy White of Accolade Wines advised featuring whites and rosés more prominently to encourage sales.
“Overall the rosé category is still dominated by the sweeter flavour profiles like white Zinfandel and white Grenache and it’s critical that these are stocked,” said White.