Win with some winter warmers

Operators can capitalise on cider in the coming months

mulled cider
Operators should focus on draught cider and seasonal variants during the winter, say firms.

ONCE synonymous with summer, cider is now firmly established as a year-round drink. And, despite sales peaking in summertime, winter remains an important time of year for pubs to capitalise on cider.

That was the message from drinks firms, who told SLTN that the category will remain valuable to the on-trade in the coming months.

“The [winter] period is still significant, particularly within draught cider where there is less variation between summer and winter months,” said Jerry Shedden, category and trade marketing director at Strongbow and Bulmers cider parent firm Heineken UK.

“The key driver for success of draught has been flavoured cider.”

Rosie Fryer, brand manager at Kopparberg, agreed.

She said: “It is worthwhile noting that draught fruit cider is currently outperforming packaged and attention should be paid to this when considering range and fridge space.

“With draught fruit growing rapidly, outlets should maximise fonts, point of sale and branded glassware for standout and differentiation.”

Considering the styles of cider to stock, Fryer added: “When the winter draws in, whilst the key variants still perform well and should always be available, we do see a shift in some consumers looking for a seasonal variation. According to Mintel, 61% of consumers are more likely to drink more cider in autumn/winter if there is a seasonal flavour or variant.”

This can include utilising cider to offer winter warmers, according to Shedden of Heineken.

“Warm mulled cider can drive good levels of interest during the winter, and anything that highlights the category, such as cider festivals and messaging on blackboards, can really help promote the segment in the darker months,” he said.

“Cider is wonderfully refreshing at any time of the year, but the segment can be given a boost by nudging consumers to consider drinking cider outside of the traditionally popular summer periods.”