In association with Old Mout

Is there a future for fruit cider?

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fruity future: fruit cider has the legs to go for miles
Fruity future: fruit cider has the legs to go for miles

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It’s been the biggest development in cider since apples were first used to make alcohol. Now packaged fruit ciders play a pivotal role in many pubs. But what does the future have in store?

Packaged fruit cider sales appear to be ever on the rise, putting in 6.2% volume sales growth last year and 6.5% in the previous year.

Not only that, premium packaged fruit cider as a segment is growing faster still – boasting a 13% uptick in volume sales and 14% in value. The question is: why the dramatic rise?

Heineken’s brand director for cider Emma Sherwood-Smith explains: “The category is doing well for a couple of reasons.

“It is playing into the premium trend and if you look at the category over the past 10 to 12 years, what’s really drawn the penetration is new news, diversity and exciting flavours to try, which have all characterised the segment.”

A wealth of interesting choices for the consumer has also continued to drive growth in the packaged fruit cider category, she adds. “The brands on the market are really getting that out and they are good quality too.”

Old Mout

Old Mout has played into the needs of consumers looking for premium versions of their favourite tipple.

The brand has created a point of difference in the market for itself by developing a flavour range that plays into the consumer’s desire to experiment, as well as a need for familiarity. The four flavours in the portfolio are Strawberry & Pomegranate, Kiwi & Lime, Passionfruit & Apple and Summer Berries.

The Heineken-owned brand invested £5m into marketing Old Mout with a new summer campaign this year to bolster its position in the segment and drive more people into the great British pub.

One pub group that recently bought into Old Mout’s proposition is London-based Young’s which, after stocking the packaged fruit cider, witnessed a sales increase in that category of 14.1% since April this year.

It was important to launch the new offer with a real bang, to ensure customers knew about the range, says Young’s marketing projects manager Tom Elliott-Frey.

To do this, Young’s hosted mini festivals in a number of its pub gardens where a ‘wheel of flavour’ was also launched, with drinkers spinning the wheel to help them learn more about the cider and decide the flavour of Old Mout they should drink.

Feedback from customers throughout the events was positive and brought the brand into the forefront of their minds, according to Elliott-Frey, who adds: “Drinkers loved the packaging, they thought it was something quirky and we hit the nail on the head when it comes to bringing the brand to life.

‘The brand in pubs’

“It was a great launch platform for the summer and this was in line with the activation that came with launching the brand in the pubs.”

He continues: “We could show the customers how the cider should be served properly, with fresh fruit garnishes in bespoke branded, ice-filled glassware, which we find is vital in de-livering the experience consumers can’t get at home.

“Old Mout is really important, especially during the summer months where there’s customer demand. It plays a vital role in delivering an option that is refreshing to the drinker.”

Both in general terms and in pubs there is a notable continued sales rise within packaged fruit cider, which Sherwood-Smith credits to ongoing innovation in the segment.

That said, she adds: “What’s really interesting about the segment is that about 75% of the sales are from fruit berry flavours.

“People are quite traditional around berries and I would expect more innovation around this flavour profile in terms of how to make it more interesting.”

Related topics: Cider

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