Conference Review

Cider is one of the few categories in which the wholesale sector has a bigger market share, at 37%, than grocery, and presents a great opportunity to grow that, according to Scottish Courage Brands trading director – wholesale, David Ashcroft.

Two years on from his company’s acquisition of Bulmers, he said Scottish Courage was now seen by the market as a brewer and cider maker and its new strategy to add value to the cider market was working.

He said that in a market that was showing 1% value growth Strongbow had achieved 9% and four months after it abolished its extra free offers sales were still strong.

Scottish Courage was also encouraging responsible drinking of cider, said Ashcroft, but he was very disappointed that some other cider makers were still selling white cider in three litre bottles. “That is not selling responsibly,” he said.

Ashcroft said that perceptions of cider needed to be improved and one of the ways Scottish Courage was doing this was by investing in TV advertising with the theme of “Let the taste do the talking”.

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