Summer’s on its way and with the warmer evenings and long weekends, customers will be enjoying relaxing in beer gardens; BBQs and eating and drinking with friends. And for many, the summer drink of choice is cider.
“The renaissance of cider continues, with total cider in the on trade seeing both volume and value growth (£41.9m) and it’s set to be another strong summer for the category this year,” said Katie Hunter, innovation commercialisation manager at Diageo.
According to Diageo, growth within the on trade is being driven by new generation flavoured cider variants (£122m in growth), with traditional apple and pear ciders in decline – a pattern that we are seeing reflected in the off trade too. “With the launch of our flavoured Smirnoff Cider and Pimm’s Cider ranges, we are matching our innovation to this trend to help licensees maximise the category’s potential,” added Katie. “We continue to see innovation as a key growth driver in cider, as consumers look for more interesting and exciting flavours to try.”
And that’s a position confirmed by Heineken whose innovation focus this year is the artisanal cider segment. “In many ways, it’s similar to craft beer in that people are interested in the source of the fruit and the people who grow it. It’s a category where people like things to be complicated and exclusive,” said Emma Sherwood-Smith, Heineken’s cider brand director.
Cater for every kind of drinker
Heineken’s research points to cider falling into distinct categories, and their strong recommendation is that operators have ciders available that satisfy consumer demand for:
Traditional cider: names like Thatchers, Westons and Strongbow
Super premium and flavoured ciders: brands like Stassen, Smirnoff Cider, Old Mout, Rekorderlig and Pimms Cider Cup
Modern craft cider: Orchard Pig, Hoxton, Caple Road and Orchard Pioneers
• Events – cider is well suited to summer events such as barbeques and sport screenings, so make sure you tap into as many of these occasions as possible. Or what about holding a cider festival?
• Tastings – offer tastings, especially with your guest ciders.
• Range – ensure that you stock a variety of ciders with different flavour profiles to cater to different palates.
• Staff training – run tasting sessions with staff so they can provide customers with recommendations based on their needs.
• Maximise fridge space – flavoured cider is in growth. Tap into this opportunity by increasing the total amount of fridge space dedicated to your fruit cider offering.
• Innovation – research shows frequent cider and craft beer drinkers are more likely to experiment. A top tip is to place new products at the top right hand side of the fridge – it’s where the eye is drawn when customers are looking.
• Have draught ciders available – only 13.4% of the on trade stocks draught flavoured cider, despite the fact it grows incremental volume. Don’t lose out!
• Promote – behind the bar, around the walls and on table. Don’t forget to broadcast your cider range on social media too.
• Formats – stock a range of different formats – as well as draught, have bottles and cans – so you can tap into every occasion in your pub, whether it’s relaxing, more up-tempo or outdoor.
Sources: Volume sales, Nielsen Scantrack, off trade, latest 26 weeks to 03.12.2016, CGA On Trade Data to 3.12.16