Sweet success for cider sales

Stella’s announcement that it will launch its own cider is proof positive of the revival of this once dwindling category.

The new brew, Stella Cidre, will weigh in at 4.5 per cent alcohol by volume – brewed in Belgium, exclusively for British drinkers, using jonagold apples.

The latest research from Mintel proves the point. The study reveals that a combined push from the industry, coupled with consumer demand has seen cider beat the economic squeeze to become a favourite with the British consumer. Indeed, at a time when alcohol consumption in the UK is declining, cider has gone from strength to strength, experiencing value sales growth of 60% between 2005 and 2010 to stand at £2.2 billion.

While penetration of alcohol drinkers in the UK has declined from 88% to 83% over this period conversely, cider has managed to grow its user base from 18% to 27% of UK adults – a phenomenal achievement and an outlier in an otherwise declining UK alcohol market. It has grown its volume sales from 574 million litres in 2005 to 840 million litres in 2010, a rise of 46% – in spite of rising alcohol taxation, the worst recession since the 1930s and pubs (for whom it relies on for 45% of its value sales) closing at record rates. Furthermore, Mintel forecasts that cider will grow by an impressive 23% in volume sales and 45% in value sales between 2010 and 2015 and the sector also has rich potential to further grow its user base, with 10.4 million UK adults prepared to consider drinking it in the future.

With summer not that far away Stella’s move into cider could be inspired.

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