Cider sales branch out

CIDER continues to move from strength to strength, with sales in the Scottish on-trade up £2.5 million to a total of £142m, according to the latest CGA data.

In the third consecutive year of growth for the category, there’s been some significant change at the top in terms of sales in Scotland’s pubs and bars – with Kopparberg overtaking Heineken-owned Strongbow to be crowned category leader.

It has also moved up two places in the overall drinks brands listing, making it the ninth-biggest brand in the Scottish on-trade in value terms.

And the Swedish cider maker isn’t resting on its laurels, with a brand new variant, Kopparberg Black, launched exclusively on draught into the on-trade this summer.

The new 4% ABV cider, described as apple with blackcurrant and blackberry flavours, has been accompanied by a stand-alone font and is being supported throughout the summer by a wider £6m marketing campaign.

While Strongbow has slipped to second place in the cider category, and fallen two places in the overall drinks brands listing, it still remains the twelfth-biggest brand in the Scottish on-trade in value terms.

And the Heineken-owned brand’s fruitier cousin, Strongbow Dark Fruit, has enjoyed another strong year of sales growth; not only has it moved from the fifth to third best-selling cider within the category, it also climbed 12 places in the overall brands listing, representing the 22nd-biggest brand overall in the Scottish on-trade.

Magners Original has climbed from sixth to fourth within the cider category and the C&C Group-owned brand has risen eight places within the overall drinks listing, making it into this year’s top 30 to represent the 28th-biggest brand in the Scottish on-trade by value.

Rounding out this year’s top five ciders is Magners, which takes in a number of the flavoured variants; it comes in at 34 on the overall brands list in value terms.

Looking to associate its cider with summertime, C&C Group inked a deal with media firm and festival organiser, Global, giving Magners exclusive sponsorship and pouring rights at 11 festivals across the summer, including Rewind at Scone Palace last month (July 20 to 22).

Beyond the cider category’s top five best-selling brands in the Scottish on-trade, Molson Coors-owned Rekorderlig has shifted from fourth to sixth position, while Carlsberg’s Somersby Cider and Heineken’s Bulmers have switched positions since last year; Somersby Cider has moved up to seventh place, while Bulmers has been nudged down to eighth within the category.

Meanwhile, Stowford Press and Thatchers Gold have both moved up a place, coming in at ninth and tenth respectively.

Outside of the top ten, East Lothian-based cider maker Thistly Cross was the only Scottish producer to be recognised for its performance.

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Strongbow Dark Fruit

Magners Original