Are drink ‘snobs’ driving cider sales?

Producers’ trade group finds premium growth is boosting the category

• Cider makers believe that craft beer growth has had a positive influence on premium cider sales.

CIDER drinkers are becoming ‘snobs’.

So says the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM), and the industry body welcomes the development, claiming it’s leading consumers to trade up to more premium variants in the category.
And cider makers contacted by SLTN were in agreement with the trade group.
Peter Stuart, cider maker at Scottish producer Thistly Cross, said it is “very true” that demand for premium cider is growing.
“Craft beer has exposed customers to the sheer variety and experimentation available in the beer world, and now consumers are looking to expand their views and expectations with craft cider – the potential is huge,” said Stuart. “Consumers now have a wider concept of what ‘cider’ is – it is no longer just the preserve of farmhouse scrumpy lovers.”
Graham Archibald, national account director at Morgenrot, the firm behind Spanish cider Avalon Sidra in the UK, agreed that growth in craft beer has “definitely influenced the cider category as it has made consumers more discerning in their approach to selecting drinks”.

The bar has been set a lot higher now with consumers only prepared to accept quality.

“We recently launched the Planetbee craft cider to tap into this trend,” said Archibald.
Martin Thatcher of Thatchers Cider agreed that consumers are demanding more from their cider, saying that drinkers have become “more discerning” since the “early cider boom”.
“The bar has been set a lot higher now with consumers only prepared to accept quality – that’s a great thing for the industry,” he said.
Highlighting off-trade growth figures which show premium cider has grown by £10 million in value terms across the UK compared to the same time last year, the NACM said cider has been a “star performer”.
“What is clear is that people are seeking out excellent drinks – both good quality mainstream ciders and really premium products often enjoyed with food,” said a spokesman for the trade group.
“It is quite an achievement for the sector when you consider that we have just come through a period of economic difficulty.
“It proves that, even when times are tough, cider drinkers are prepared to pay more for a high quality product that they really enjoy.
“It’s testament to people focusing on quality and provenance matched by the innovation and investment of cider makers.”