Cider is in ‘robust health’, report says

Fruit varietals are said to be popular

FRUIT ciders are “here to stay” and low and no-alcohol variants are rising in “credibility and acceptance”, according to Westons’ latest Cider Report.

The third annual report paints a picture of a category which is in “robust health overall” and, quoting CGA data, claimed cider sales have risen by 3.5% in value to almost £3 billion across the UK on and off-trade.

The continued popularity of fruit ciders is one of the headline trends identified within the report. The sector has grown by 338% in the last 12 years to represent 27% of the overall category across the on and off-trade in 2017, according to CGA data, and Westons said fruit cider “continues to bring more consumers into the cider category”; specifically, it is said to attract younger drinkers, with half of fruit cider drinkers aged 18-34 compared with 36% of all cider drinkers, according to the report.

Operators can also tap into the growing trend for healthier options with low and no-alcohol ciders, said the report.

Matthew Langley of Westons said low and no-ABV ciders “are rising in credibility and acceptance and are now seen by consumers as a positive discovery choice based on taste, flavour and experience – rather than just having to choose something when ‘you’re not drinking’”.

Conversely, white cider and pear cider are said to be in decline; white cider is said to have fallen by 2.6% in both value and volume across the on and off-trade. Pear cider, meanwhile, is said to have fallen by 22.6% in on-trade volumes, now accounting for 2% of all cider sales, according to the report.

Langley of Westons said the report overall “shows that there is a bright future for cider”, which “will clearly be driven by crafted, premium and fruit offerings throughout 2018 and beyond”.