Cider industry 'remains challenging'

By James Evison contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cider industry 'remains challenging'

Related tags: Aston manor, Business, Marketing

Aston Manor remain bullish with export growth despite drop in UK sales.

The cider industry 'remains very challenging' but Aston Manor will outperfom the market due to investment in its business, according to its managing director, Gordon Johncox.

The Birmingham-based cider producer said that its £30m investment programme would deliver a 'world-class' fruit pressing and processing mill in Stourport-on-Severn, and although UK sales were slightly down, it saw a 27% increase in export sales. Gordon Johncox, managing director at Aston Manor said that building a successful business was based on "exploiting profitable export opportunities selectively".He said: “The progress we have made in the last few years in the UK has been to shift a greater proportion of our sales to more premium products and exit low-value business – whilst still doing better than the total market in what are very challenging conditions.”"UK cider sales have fallen in the last two years and whilst not immune to prevailing market conditions, Aston Manor is doing better than the category as a whole.
He also said that the maker was in 'good shape' and was well-positioned for growth.Aston Manor has two production sites with an AA* rating - the only cider manufacturer to have achieved this goal, it claimed.


Johncox also said when the cider maker 'did more for our customers' it 'increases our resilience' - and that a poor summer in 2015 did hit sales.“We take the view that our marketing investment should add value and avoid the price promotions that depress value to chase volume.
“The slight dip in our UK sales is better than the experience for the total market, though is a reflection of how tough trading has been – not helped by a poor summer in 2015.” He said.The statement also said commented on its successful work to grow on-trade sales, where the distribution deal for Kingstone Press cider with Marston’s PLC has grown sales 15% in that channel.

Related topics: Cider

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