What consumers are seeking in cider
Cider consumers have given their verdicts on their favourite cider brands at the 2019 Australian Drinks Awards, singling out Somersby and Rekorderlig as the star performers. Winners were judged via a Thrive Research survey of 4000 target consumers, with trophies for the top Beer, Cider, Wine, Spirits and RTDs.
The top 200 drinks brands have been automatically considered for the Fan Favourite, Most Distinctive Brand and Gaining in Popularity categories, with Manildra, IRI and BevChain sponsoring the respective awards.
Fan favourite Cider went to Somersby, Gaining in Popularity Cider was awarded to Somersby and Most Distinctive was won by Rekorderlig.
Comments from consumers showed a strong preference for innovation in flavours.
As one respondent noted about Rekorderlig: "They have a great variety of flavours available and they're always bringing out new tastes."
There was also a preference for flavours to be refreshing.
"Somersby's taste is crisp but not too sweet," noted a fan. "And the price is reasonable too."
IRI’s top four tips for cider growth
IRI Insights Director Daniel Bone recently identified four global trends on the rise in cider.
1. Consider canned vs bottled
“Bottled cider sales are down 10%, but canned cider is up 8% over the past two years,” Bone said.
2. Target the health-conscious drinker
“A rise in ‘better-for-you’ ciders reflects a more health attentive drinker,” Bone noted. “The low-sugar and low-carb cider market is now worth $69million. That’s up 37% in 2017-18 and 17% in 2018-19.”
He also said low and no-alcohol ciders were a trend to watch.
3. Think beyond apple & pear
Bone said the cider category’s signature flavour profiles – apple and pear – are in decline.
By contrast, cider’s no.2 growth brand, Little Fat Lamb, has been a key driver of the growth of flavoured ciders. Little Fat Lamb’s sales were up 21% in 2017-18 and 28% in 2018-19.
In the US, the fruit cider segment is led by dark fruit/berry flavours, notably Strongbow Dark Fruit, which is up 39%.
“In both craft beer and cider, pineapple is an emerging flavour trend,” Bone added. “Pineapple accounted for three of the top nine cider growth brands in the US in 2018.”
4. Pick pink
Rosé wine and pink gin sales are surging as consumers continue their love affair with pink drinks and the same trend is emerging in cider.