Total on-trade cider sales rose by 1.7% in volume and by 2.3% in value for the 12 months to 31 December 2016, according to CGA Strategy.
Future Trends: Beer and Cider
What are the next beer and cider trends for the on-trade? Find out by booking your tickets to The Morning Advertiser’s Future Trends: Beer and Cider event, held in London on 26 June.
CLICK HERE to see the full agenda and book tickets
While cider sales are on the up, beer sales in the on-trade are slightly down. According to the British Beer & Pub Association, from October to December 2016, pubs sold 2.9% less beer compared with the same period in the previous year.
But a slight slow in sales hasn’t dampened the category’s innovation, which saw the following products launched:
New BEER products
In January Innis & Gunn targeted the Dry January crowd with its new non-alcoholic beer Innis & None, which also contained Vitamin C and ginseng.
At the beginning of February, Carlsberg revealed a new Millennial-focused limited-edition look for its flagship lager brand.
New 330ml bottles carry the design, which is an “abstract interpretation” of the 3.8% ABV lager’s ingredients.
Another major brewer to showcase a redesign this year was Carling, which it did to remain relevant to modern drinkers.
Peroni made its first steps into the gluten-free segment with its Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free, sold in 330ml bottles. The product will go live from this month (April).
BrewDog and Cloudwater announced a collaboration to brew Vermnont IPA, a 6.8% ABV India pale ale made using mosaic hops. The beer was brewed at BrewDog’s Ellon brewery in January.
A swanky London restaurant worked with Scotland’s Harviestoun craft brewery to create 4.4% ABV Sexy Fish, a beer named after the eatery.
Innis & Gunn brought another new entry with its Kith & Kin 5.8% ABV whiskey barrel-aged stout, available in 330ml bottles and on draught.
Sussex brewery Harvey’s launched a new range of beers in cans following its major rebrand, including Gold Bier (4% ABV), Malt Brown (4.8% ABV) and Black Stout (4.7% ABV).
Rhubarb played a central role in Camden Town Brewery’s latest beer – Charlie Roper’s Rhubarb IPA – a 5.2% ABV ‘dream beer’.
At Craft Beer Rising, Heineken launched a whole new “craft” brand in Maltsmiths, bringing with it an IPA and a Pils.
Craft Beer Rising
Also at Craft Beer Rising, Fuller’s showcased a 4.1% ABV unfiltered keg variant of its flagship brew London Pride, named London Pride Unfiltered.
AB InBev re-entered its Bud Light 3.5% ABV variant into the market shortly after Craft Beer Rising, which is aimed at calorie-conscious consumers who also want to drink lower ABV lagers.
Brooklyn Brewery’s limited edition sour beer Bel Air Sour would be rolled out across the UK for a limited period, said distributor Carlsberg.
Scottish brewer Tennent’s launched a new range of 'premium' bottled ales, after research revealed there was increased demand for such products.
Three new beers were revealed by London brewery Magic Spells, including Hackney Hare Pale Ale (4.2% ABV), India Pale Ale (5.5% ABV) and Craft Lager (4.2% ABV), all available in 330ml bottles.
New CIDER products
New cider product launches tend to begin in the warmer months, with the majority starting to trickle in during March.
Bulmers started things off by making a push into the 'artisanal' segment with Orchard Pioneers, featuring Kier’s Cloudy Apple and Sarah’s Red Apple, both sold in 500ml bottles with an ABV of 5%.
Also in the premium category is Aspall’s mid-strength cider Aspall Cyder, which will be launched into the on-trade in kegs this month (April).
The 4.5% ABV drink has been created in a bid to satisfy operators’ and consumers’ growing demand for a mid-strength, draught cider without compromising taste or quality.
Like Aspall Suffolk Draught Cyder, which has a 5.5% ABV, the new cider is made by blending culinary and bittersweet apple varieties.
At the launch of its Cider Report earlier, Westons revealed a new fruit cider spiked with cherry.
Rosie’s Pig Rusted Wheel is a 4% ABV cherry flavoured cloudy cider and follows the maker’s Flat Tyre Cloudy Cider with Rhubarb and Handbrake Cloudy Cider with Damson, which were launched a year ago as limited-edition products.