It’s time for you to rethink cider.
The days of a range of two-litre plastic bottles tucked away on the bottom shelf slowly gave way to 500ml cans. These, in turn, were shaken up by Magners 500ml bottle with the over-ice serve.
This shows no sign of dying – Bulmers followed, and Kopparberg has carried on the noble tradition. A great cider range in convenience now might be an even split between the multipack can and single bottle format, depending on where your store is and who your customers are.
Cans can potentially have wonderfully eye-catching designs and they are an unthreatening size for the consumer willing to try something new
So what will happen if the latest trend – the 330ml can format – continues? This week, Thatchers unveiled two new premium brands, both on sale in the 330ml can format. This follows Heineken announcing Bulmer’s Orchard Pioneers at the tail end of last year, which will be available in both 330ml cans and 500ml bottle versions. Caple Road was at the forefront of the renaissance in 2015.
Craft beer’s growth boom in the past three years has hinged upon this format. Cans can potentially have wonderfully eye-catching designs and they are an unthreatening size for the consumer willing to try something new.
So cider is following a clear path laid down by craft beer.
The problem is a more prosaic one, I think: how do convenience stores make room for a new format on shelves that have been ranged around certain bottle and can sizes for more than five years now – while also making their range look amazing, and stocking the right things?
Classing it as craft and putting it next to your 330ml beer range is a start; thinking about the occasion and flow of your fixture to get those people buying things they haven’t tried before is the problem. It’s one that I think demands some thought sooner rather than later.