Master brand Strongbow original came in at number 55 in The Drinks List and remains the UK’s number one cider, maintaining a quarter of the market in terms of volume and 22% of value.
A spokesperson for the Heineken-owned brand said: “As well as adding more absolute volume growth to the draught-cider category than any other cider, 70% of Strongbow Dark Fruit sales are incremental and help grow the total beer and cider category in the on-trade.”
CGA Strategy client director Phil Montgomery said fruit cider was one of the biggest emerging trends of the last five years.
He added: “The availability and choice has really driven experimentation in the fruit-cider category and allowing customers to dip into it more is continuing the trend forward.”
Growing keg and draught cider
Coming next in the top ciders line up were Kopparberg Raspberry and Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime at 18 and 25 respectively.
The Strawberry & Lime variant is the fastest-growing packaged fruit cider, growing volume at a huge 16.7%, according to research company CGA Strategy which compiled the first top 100 brands list in association with The Morning Advertiser.
With a new focus on growing keg and draught cider and a new look, Stella Cidre came in at number 32.
The brand saw growth in sales in the London trade with volumes up 3.2%, while value has risen by 5.4% in comparison to last year.
High-profile marketing by Thatchers Gold cider has included continued association with some of the UK’s most iconic music festivals including Glastonbury Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival along with West Country sports organisations such as Bath Rugby Club, Bristol Sport (Bristol Rugby Club and Bristol City FC), Bristol Rovers FC and Somerset County Cricket Club in a bid to attract new customers.
Thatchers Gold appeared at number 37 in the top 100 and is the second-largest draught apple cider and is one of only two apple ciders in the top five in volume sales growth, growing at 2.5%.
On-trade sales uplift
Molson Coors’ Carling British Cider has seen a sales uplift of 46% in the on-trade and a significant investment in masterbrand Carling has benefited the cider too.
The brand, positioned at 87 in the list, witnessed a rise in moving annual total sales of 46% in the past year which is thanks to considerable marketing such as a three-year partnership with the English Premier League.
Two more Heineken brands featured in the list with Old Mout Summer Berries appearing at number 79 and Bulmer’s Original at 91.
Driving 83% of world cider growth volume (according to CGA), Old Mout offers consumers a point of difference compared to other flavoured ciders with unique variants such as Kiwi & Lime or Pomegranate & Strawberry.
Following a £2m relaunch earlier this year where a striking new design and 500ml bottle were unveiled, Bulmer’s continues to be the top modern cider brand, with almost half (45.1%) of the modern cider category and activating at and targeting festivals has helped the brand grow its audience.
- Strongbow Dark Fruit
- Kopparberg Raspberry
- Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime
- Stella Cidre
- Thatchers Gold
- Rekorderlig Strawberry & Lime
- Old Mout Cider Summer Berries
- Carling British Cider
- Bulmer’s Original
The Drinks List: Top 100 Brands was compiled by CGA Strategy based on consumer preference, equity scores and sales metrics and includes brands from the spirits, wine, softs and LAD categories. Consumer opinion forms the basis of the methodology, highlighting the brands that consumers want to see when they visit the on-trade. As such a 66:33 weighted split was used to determine the list, balancing consumer preferences with actual on-trade sales performance to give the most accurate and comprehensive list of the 100 ultimate drinks brands in the GB on-trade. By measuring brands against a number of equity features, we have also uncovered consumers’ perception of brands and the reasons why they make up the nation’s favourite drinks – are they cool, fun, value for money, etc. All sales data used in the report is from the brands and their owners.