Long drinks… ciders

Long drinks… ciders

52_bANOTHER important category and once again we have remarkable variation in sales performance.
Until very recently cider was just about the hottest drinks prospect in town and pear was one of the main fruits and flavours of choice. In 2012 all of the top five ciders were in sales growth.
But look at the 2012 table and it is a very different story.
Market leader Strongbow is a huge brand in the Scottish off-trade, and it went through a brand freshening up. But it still lost 3% of its near £28m Scottish off-trade sales – a better performance it should be said than most of the big beer brands.
Magners Original, in number-two spot and the brand that could be seen as the one that kick started the modern cider market, saw a much greater sales fall – down 23%.
Add together the top 15 ciders’ sales figures in Scottish take-home outlets in 2012 and compare it to 2011 and the growth is just over 1% – substantially less than the rate of inflation.
But some parts of cider are still booming. One major brand continues to soar and one white cider continues to grow considerably.
Stella Artois Cidre followed huge 2011 growth with 2012 sales growth in the Scottish off-trade of almost £5.7m.
White cider Frosty Jacks jumped 18% to reach almost £3.9m sales.
And flavoured cider remains a hot prospect. That was particularly true last year of the Swedish cider brand Kopparberg, which saw Scottish take-home sales of its strawberry and lime flavoured cider jump by 156% to be worth more than £2.5m and its mixed fruit flavoured cider rose by 78% to reach almost £3.8m.
Last year the three Kopparberg varieties in the cider top 15 had a combined sales value that almost equalled the combined sales of the two Magners varieties on the list. Interestingly Kopparberg’s pear cider dropped back a little to £2.7m. Bulmer’s Pear and Magner’s Pear also fell – rather more considerably.
That could have had something to do with both Stella Artois Cidre and Strongbow introducing pear versions, of course.
But for the Bulmer brand Heineken sees flavoured cider as the way forward. Its Bulmers No 17 flavoured cider grew 127% in Scottish take-home last yea.
This month the product is being renamed and relaunched as part of a three-strong flavoured cider range and the giant drinks firm says it expects 80% of cider sales increases to come from flavoured cider by 2015.
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Ciders: top 15 – on moving annual total sales at week ending 05.01.13

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