Both pre and post COVID-19, cider has seen market share slip away to other categories like gin, cocktails and world lager, but it has also been one of the most dynamic segments of the market, reports CGA
Cider-over-ice, packaged fruit varietals, Craft Brands and draught Fruit Cider all shaking up a category that was traditionally the choice of an older demographic, but that is now enjoyed by all ages. Innovation and NPD provides optimism that cider can bounce back. This summer—the first one without restrictions in three years—is a huge opportunity to do so, and brand owners and operators will be hoping for a prolonged period of sunshine to power sales. Responding to the latest market trends and consumer behaviours will be key to success—so here are just five insights from CGA by NielsenIQ’s research suite. 1 A three-year drop in sales CGA’s OPMS service shows Cider accounted for 12.1% of all Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD sales) by volume over the last quarter. This is a drop of 0.9 percentage points since the same quarter in 2019, before COVID-19 hit. Cider sales were worth £418m in the latest quarter—down by 9.7% on three years ago. 2 A rise in price The average price of a pint of Cider has risen by 26 pence to £4.11 since 2019—which means the value of sales has recovered better than the volume. 3 Managed venues up, independents down Channel-wise, managed venues attracted nearly a third (31.6%) of all Cider sales in the last quarter—an increase of 0.9 percentage points on 2019. This growth has come at the expense of the free trade, though this remains the biggest channel for sales with a 46.4% share. CGA’s data helps to pinpoint the big channel winners, including community pubs; and the losers, like sports and social clubs. 4 Changing flavours Apple Cider has stolen back sales from the fruit category in the last three years, with a 61.9% share in the last quarter—up by 2 percentage points from 2019. However, fruit brands now have a similar penetration, and are stocked in more than 83,000 outlets—only 9,000 fewer than Apple Cider. Pear Cider has seen the steepest drop of any fruit variant. 5 Engaged drinkers CGA’s BrandTrack research indicates the value of Cider drinkers to the On Premise. They spend an average of just over £97 a month on eating and drinking out, £2 more than the all-consumer average, and more than a third (37%) of them drink out at least weekly. The research also flags the importance of range, which is an extremely important factor in the choice of venue for 26% of drinkers.