It could be said that cider has come a long way from the ‘over ice’ revolution that rekindled the nation’s love for the drink.
And now Diageo, brand owner of Pimm’s Cider Cup and Smirnoff Cider, has said there are a couple of areas, in particular, where it expects the ever-diversifying category to expand.
Daf Pugh Williams of Diageo GB said there are two main sub-categories of cider that are performing particularly well: fruit ciders and spirit ciders.
Over the past year, the fruit-flavoured cider category has been the fastest growing segment, said Diageo, having grown by 23.4% in volume terms.
While at the same time, apple and pear volumes have declined by 32.3% and 11.3% respectively, according to Diageo.
Williams said three quarters of fruit-flavoured cider consumers fall into the 18 to 34 age group, and argued that these drinks are “successfully recruiting a new generation into the category” by “providing consumers with a credible and authentic way to enjoy sweeter liquids”.
Diageo considers spirit ciders, or ‘spiders’, to be “the third generation of the premium ciders evolution”.
Williams said bottled cider over ice was deemed to be the first stage, and flavour evolution, such as pear, was the second, leaving ‘spiders’ as the third stage in the evolution of the category.
Aiming to tap into these growing sub-categories, Diageo has focused on building its own cider ranges: Pimm’s Cider Cup and Smirnoff Cider, in the past year.
Quoting Nielsen figures, Diageo claimed that Pimm’s Cider Cup has performed well since its launch in 2015, and the company has since introduced several more flavours into the range.
The Pimm’s Cider Cup range now comprises: Strawberry & Cucumber, Summer Fruits, Mango & Passionfruit and Plum & Red Apple.
Each flavour is combined with a “hint of classic Pimm’s”, and is promoted as being best served in a pint glass over ice.
And more recently, Diageo launched its Smirnoff Cider range, which comprises two flavours – Raspberry & Pomegranate and Passionfruit & Lime; both variants are combined with Smirnoff Vodka to create a “crisp, clean taste”.
Claire O’Neill, commercialisation manager at Diageo GB, said the drinks giant is also confident about the Smirnoff cider offer.
She said: “By entering into the fruit category under the strength of the Smirnoff brand name, and with two original flavour offerings, we’re confident Smirnoff will take cider to the next level.”