Independent retailers are being encouraged to focus on craft cider, as this segment will be this year’s biggest profit driver, according to Weston’s Cider.
In its annual cider report published yesterday, the supplier told RN that craft was the only segment in growth in convenience, as well as total market, but there was still headroom to grow.
They explained craft made up 17.8% of value in convenience, compared with 19.5% total market. Distribution of craft cider was 92% across convenience, compared to 98% in total market.
“Retailers should be stocking several crafted apple lines. If the crafted category receives wider distribution across convenience, then this could single-handedly return the entire cider category to growth,” they said.
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In terms of value, craft, as defined by brands that focus on heritage, averages £3.60 per litre in convenience compared to total cider at £2.53 per litre.
“We see an unlimited variety of ranges in convenience stores, with some seemingly not being updated to reflect market changes. Space within convenience remains a premium, but this channel is key for cider over and above other categories, so getting it right and updated to the latest consumer trends is important,” they added.
Elsewhere, supplier explained apple ciders should occupy approximately two thirds of total space within cans (including single, pints, four- packs). Interestingly, apple ciders in glass formats largely sit within the crafted segment.
Flavoured ciders also remain stable, and the main flavoured brands should be stocked in single bottle or four-pack can.
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“A rosé or a citrus cider could be included, but shouldn’t be over spaced, while both a low-alcohol apple and flavoured cider should always be stocked to ensure breadth of choice and that all shopper missions are catered for. White cider should be phased out as the category continues to premiumise,” they said.
The top ten brands across total off-trade market in order are: Strongbow, Strongbow Dark Fruit, Thatchers Gold, Henry Westons Vintage, Kopparberg Strawberry & Line, Kopparberg Mixed Fruit, Magners, Thatchers Haze, Inch’s and Frosty Jack’s.
Seventy-nine per cent of total off-trade craft value comes from the top ten brands. Combined, they are up 11.9% year on year, with Henry Westons Vintage seeing the most growth 6.5%.
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