Retailers looking to in­crease cider sales should focus on premium lines, according to Westons Cider’s annual report.

The company said value sales of craft and pre­mium cider grew by 15.1% and 2.4%, respectively, in the past year.

The value of amber cider declined by 1.7%, with white cider having also decreased by 6.4% in the same period, as more shoppers trade up.

Matthew Langley, insight and innovation manager at Westons, said: “Value continues to grow ahead of volume as the market turns premium – price per litre increased in the past year by 6p to £2.25.”

Within this, the top 10 cider products for retailers are Strongbow, Strongbow Dark Fruit, Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime, Kopparberg Mixed Fruit, Magners, Thatchers Gold, Henry Westons, Lam­brini, Frosty Jack’s and Scrumpy Jack.

While apple remains a firm favourite among shoppers, commanding a 57% value share, fruit-flavoured ciders now account for more than a third of sales.

The report follows the unveiling of Nisa’s new store concept, where the symbol group advised retailers to favour pre-mix over cider, as trading in mainstream cider be­comes tougher.

Westons told RN that Nisa was “making a mis­take” and that premium cider was a major opportu­nity for independents.

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