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Cider - Celebrating diversity

Cider is worth £1.7 billion in the on trade (CGA Brand Index 2014). However, in spite of the fact that the overall cider market has started to plateau, cider is s­till a­ttrac­ting a lot of a­ttent­ion, with major brands invest­ing heavily to create innova­tive f„lavours that are a far cry from the apple variants of yore.

Lazy Jack’s

“Apple remains the most popular type of cider, but there hasn’t been much innovation within this category,” comments Holly Leedham, brand manager, Lazy Jack’s. “New entrants to the market are predominantly fruit cider variants, which – although still leading the way in the fridge – have moved into decline during the last few months.”

Lazy JackHolly believes that innovation is the key to further growth in the cider category and that consumers want brands that:

Apple Icon  Are fun and exciting
Apple Icon  Have a sweet, refreshing flavour profile that is easy to drink and sessionable
Apple Icon  Offer a genuinely different flavour or experience
Apple Icon  Appeal to both the male and female drinker as over half of all young female drinkers choose cider out of home (Kantar 2013).

“In such a saturated category any new cider brands will need to stand out from the crowd,” continues Holly. “Lazy Jack’s has achieved this through:

Apple Icon Brand proposition
Apple Icon Meeting consumers’ needs for natural products: nothing added, nothing taken away
Apple Icon  Lazy Jack’s has been developed to fit all drinking occasions. Cider under-indexes post 8pm due to the standard 500ml over-ice proposition. Lazy Jack’s 355ml bottle, designed to be served straight from the fridge, enables late-night drinking and brings new consumers into the category 

Cider Bottles RekorderligRekorderlig

“It’s been another really strong year for flavoured cider, and the sub-section has driven growth across the whole category,” comments John Logue, Global Customer Marketing Manager at Chilli Marketing. “Rekorderlig has continued to perform well and is officially the fastest growing cider family in the UK, occupying three of the top 10 fastest selling packaged cider variants. Rekorderlig is now officially the fastest growing flavoured draught cider brand, too – the Rekorderlig draught cider family has grown by an incredible 183% to £9.5 million in the past year alone, mirroring the growth in both sales and volume for packaged cider.

“We’ve seen that customers are willing to pay more, more often for premium products – one in five cider purchases in the UK is of a premium position. Rekorderlig commands a price premium of 15% versus the category but this hasn’t come at the expense of growth.”

Flavoured ciders

“There has been a massive focus on innovation in the flavoured cider sub-category in recent years, which has come at the expense of innovation with apple,” says John. “Even though nine out of 10 consumers buy apple variants when choosing draught cider and the draught apple sector is growing at 3% year on year, we’re aware apple cider isn’t hitting home with consumers aged under 34 as much as it should do.”

In March, Rekorderlig launched Rekorderlig Dry Äpple, available on draught and in newly labelled clear brown 330ml bottles in the UK on-trade

Stella Artois Cidre

“The cider category in the on trade is very dynamic and in constant ebb and flow,” comments Phil Pick, marketing manager, Stella Artois. “We’re seeing a rise in cider trends with brands bringing exciting and different things to the sector. To try and cut through this chaotic market backdrop we have focused our strategy around two key areas – developing our product on draught as well as having a unique range of glassware in order to raise visibility in bar; and building a range that has a taste spectrum that appeals to a broad range of drinkers. 2014 saw us launch draught and Cidre Raspberry – a huge success with over 1 million consumers trying it.”

Stella CiderIn February, the brand launched two new variants, both made with hand-picked fruit:

Red Apple Icon Stella Artois Cidre Peach – offers a fruity peach taste contrasted with subtle citrus and rose floral tones 
Red Apple Icon  Stella Artois Cidre Elderflower – exudes a livelier aroma complemented by crisp apple, star fruit and bergamot tones. The variant features notes of nutmeg and cloves contrasting the sweet elderflower, giving the flavour profile a balance of sweet and sour notes while retaining the overall dryness.

Strongbow introduces Cloudy Apple

Last month [May] saw the arrival of Strongbow Cloudy Apple, a new premium draught cider with an ABV of 4.5%. The variant has a crisp, rich taste of bittersweet apples from Herefordshire, delivering a sparkling cloudy cider with a rounded fruity flavour.

Lawson Mountstevens, Managing Director, On Trade at Heineken comments: “We’ve used our expertise in cider making to bring our customers another new and exciting draught cider. You only have to look at Strongbow Dark Fruit, which has added thousands of new consumers and millions of pounds to the category, to see the huge potential for our new premium addition. Independent research has shown that consumers are prepared to pay around 13% more per pint over everyday cider, providing significant opportunities for stockists.”

Old mout

Old Mout – the New Zealand brand that was introduced to the UK last year – has launched a new ­lavour, Pomegranate & Strawberry, the fourth flavour for the world cider brand. Other flavours comprise Summer Berries, Passionfruit & Apple, and Kiwi & Lime

Kingstone ciderKingstone Press

“Our major brand in the on trade is Kingstone Press, which is now the UK’s fastest growing draught cider brand (CGA strategy 2014),” comments Glen Friel, Sales and Marketing Director, Aston Manor Cider. Kingstone Press is also available in glass bottles and small PET.

Frosty Jack CiderFood and cider matching

“Consumers are discovering that cider can be a better pairing for food than wine,” observes Glen. “This is because it is more refreshing and it’s a long drink with lower alcohol content. It also contains all the elements that give wine its body and flavour through the balance of tannins, astringency, acidity and natural sweetness.”

Red Apple Icon  When recommending matching options, ensure you have a good understanding of drinks that complement different food groups
Red Apple Icon  The delicacy of fish is best complemented by a lighter cider - Kingstone Press Pear, an English perry, is an excellent match for fish
Red Apple Icon  More generally, cider offers an excellent accompaniment to spicy food such as curry.

Lord Somersby makes his mark

Carlsberg UK has launched a national campaign for Somersby Cider that is seeing the brand invest a £7m media spend across TV, digital, social, radio and at summer festivals.

The campaign sees the character of Lord Somersby arrive in the UK for the first time. Lord Somersby is the fictional, eccentric English gentleman who is Lord of the Somersby manor and ‘creator’ of Somersby Cider.

According to the company, the new campaign looks to build on 115% year- on-year on-trade volume growth for Somersby Original (available on draught), which has recently experienced an identity refresh, and comes hot on the heels of the launch of three new fruit flavours – Somersby Apple Burst, Somersby Cranberry and Somersby Blackberry – all available to the on trade in 500ml format.

David Scott, Director of Brand and Insight at Carlsberg UK, says: “Lord Somersby has been successfully launched in several markets around the world and we are confident that he will be positively received in the UK.”

Koppar Berg FrozenSummer freeze

Revealed in May, Kopparberg Frozen Fruit Cider makes a hefty nod to the rising American trend for frozen drinks and “is the essential cocktail alternative for hot summer days and nights,” according to the company.

Packaged in a metallic pouch, this Frozen Fruit Cider should be frozen for eight hours then simply squeezed into a glass and garnished with whatever takes your fancy.

Bulmers CiderIn March, Bulmers launched the UK’s ­irst blood orange ­lavoured cider, Bulmers Cider Zesty Blood Orange (4% ABV), the latest ­flavour in the Bulmers #LiveColourful range that has been brought in to replace the Pressed Red Grape variant. Other f­lavours include Bold Black Cherry, Crushed Red Berries & Lime, Cider Pear and Cider Original

Cider Cocktails Recipes

courtesy of Sheppy’s Cider and BlackLeaf Events

Sheppy CiderCherry Dab


  • 125ml Jim Beam Maple Bourbon
  • 50ml Cherry Juice
  • 5ml Fresh Lime Juice
  • Top Sheppy’s Dabinett Apple Cider


Add all ingredients to a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir well to mix and garnish with an apple fan and cherry.

Sheppy’s Treacle


  • 1 Brown Sugar Cube
  • 3 Drops Chocolate Bitters
  • 50ml Aged Rum
  • 125ml Sheppy’s Vintage


Place a napkin on top of a large brandy balloon with the brown sugar cube in the middle. Soak the cube in bitters and drop into the glass. Crush the soaked sugar cube, add the rum and an ice cube. Stir to dissolve. Once dissolved add 4 or 5 more ice cubes and top with Sheppy’s Vintage Reserve. Garnish with an apple wedge.

The Sheppy family has been making premium cider at their farm in Bradford-on-Tone, Taunton, Somerset for almost 200 years. Today, the farm is still owned and managed by the Sheppy family with 6th generation David Sheppy the current head cider maker.

Sheppy’s Cider will be at Imbibe Live at London’s Olympia Grand on 29 and 30 June, Stand E84

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