In cider trading

Last year saw a resurgence in fortune for cider as it became the fastest growing category in the off-trade BWS market, with an increase of 8.1%. This growth, following years of decline, has been driven by a number of factors including the emergence of multipack cans of amber ciders and the growth in glass bottles.

Recent research by Gaymer Cider Company, looking into the attitudes and usage occasions for cider, has helped to identify not only the core consumer but also the future opportunities. Five key consumer groups are identified:

1. Frequent drinkers from the heartland – this group are the most loyal to the category, with over 82% of cider volume being purchased by just 20% of buyers. This highlights that while it is key to maintain this loyalty, there is a need to bring new drinkers into the cider market.

2. Maturing alcopop generation – with a decline year on year of the FAB market, consumers are looking to a different market with cider being one alternative.

3. Occasional drinkers – these consumers mainly drink cider when it’s good weather, ie in the summertime. Although they are light buyers they are key to gaining interest and helping to raise the profile of the market.

4. Male connoisseurs – this group are demanding a higher quality cider. This market has developed through the introduction of premium ciders in glass bottles and independent retailers should make the most of this growth area.

5. Couples with food – the importance of the right drink to go with food is a developing and important trend, and the opportunity for cider to break into this market has never been stronger. Educating consumers in the breadth of premium ciders will assist in developing this area of the market and help drive volume and high revenue for independent retailers.

A Gaymer Cider Company spokesman told ProWholesaler: “By identifying these core occasions retailers should change the way the cider fixture is viewed by the shopper. Beer and lager market growth has come from shoppers spending more on higher value products. There is now a need for retailers to view the cider fixture in the same way and match the beer/lager segments to target the growing occasions of premium drinkers and the maturing alcopop generation.”

The four segments mirroring the beer/lager category are: premium cider appealing to male connoisseurs and couples with food; mainstream plus for the maturing alcopop generation and occasional drinkers; mainstream for frequent drinkers and the heartland; and the own label and tertiary products.

Catering for these four segments as in the suggested layout below will enable all consumer types to shop the fixture and thereby generate the most revenue from cider. Gaymers suggests there are also a number of key points independent retailers need to address in order to sustain the cider market growth.

l Dedicated cider fixture: cider is currently under-represented in the independent retailer sector.

l Range: offer the top core brands such as Strongbow, Olde English, Blackthorn, but also offer new emerging products in the market like Magners, Gaymers, Sirrus and Thatchers Katy. Offering this range will satisfy the needs of all five key consumer usage occasions.

l Amber cider: ensure amber cider is given the majority of space on shelf to develop its growth in the market, but focus on four packs and multipacks rather than PET.

l Premium ciders: develop the premium sector of the category such as Gaymers Orchard Reserve, Thatchers Katy, Aspells and Westons. It currently makes up just 0.5% of value in independent stores compared with 5% in the multiple grocers. This will provide choice to the shopper and high revenue to the store.

l Introduce new consumers to cider: the current range stocked by the average independent retailer does not reflect the wide range available in the on-trade and multiple grocers. Independent retailers can change this by getting the range right in store to reflect this change and benefit from new shoppers to their cider fixture.

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