Look on the bright cider

After a tough few years, cider is back with a bang and companies have reset goals and are ready for a strong summer ahead.

Cider in Ireland has seen a strong start to the year within the off-trade category seeing growth of 5.3%

The Covid-19 pandemic had a hugely negative impact on Ireland’s cider sector, but signs of recovery started as early as the second half of 2021, according to a report released on World Cider Day today (June 2022). Cider in Ireland has already seen a strong start to the year within the off-trade category seeing growth of 5.3%*.

The Irish Cider Market Report from Drinks Ireland|Cider says that ciders share of the alcohol market in 2019 was 7.4% but by 2021, it fell to 5.8%, as people shifted to wine and spirits when consuming at home. Exports were also very significantly hit, down by over a half (56.2%) in 2021 to an estimated value of €25 million. About 90% of the Irish cider exports goes to the UK and then to Europe.

Despite the major challenges, the second half of 2021 saw a 20% increase in cider sales, as hospitality restrictions eased and venues across Ireland welcomed customers back.

The global cider market is now forecasted to witness a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 6.12% during the forecast period (2021 – 2026). The global cider market size was valued at $14,570million in 2020 and is projected to reach $26,211 million by 2031, registering a CAGR of 5.0% from 2022 to 2031.

Factors such as increase in post-Pandemic socialising and holidays and the rising income of consumers are expected to drive the cider market’s growth in the year ahead. In turn, companies in the market are coming up with new product innovations in terms of flavour and sophistication and we can see this from brands such as Kopparberg, Strongbow and Ritz who are all reinventing themselves through taste and packaging design.

New packaging for Ritz

Ritz’s new distinctive packaging will help the brand to stand out on shelf

Ritz, Ireland’s beloved perry brand, is excited to announce its new packaging update which launched earlier this year. The refreshing new look will give the brand a modern and sleek appearance, while maintaining the same great pear taste that Irish customers have come to love and trust.

The new distinctive packaging will help the brand to stand out on shelf. The label features a bold design with a contemporary feel and highlights more clearly Ritz’ hero ingredient, pears.

The new packaging update is part of Ritz’ ongoing commitment to deliver  the best possible product to its customers. Ritz Perry’s premium quality pears are sourced from trusted suppliers, and every batch is carefully crafted to ensure the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

The new packaging will be available nationwide. Customers can look forward to enjoying the same great taste they have come to know and love, in a new and refreshing package.

New flavours of Kopparberg

Kopparberg is the number one fruit cider brand with eight out of the top ten SKUs in the segment

Cider has seen a strong start to the year within the off-trade category seeing growth of 5.3%*. Off the back of this performance, Kopparberg—independent fruit cider brand and flavour expert is delighted to be bringing its newly designed 10 pack 330ml format cans to the Irish market. These formats will come in their two flavors of Strawberry & Lime and Mixed Fruit. These new products were heavily influenced by changing customer needs: medium pack sizes now make up 45% of cider value sales*. Kopparberg is the number one fruit cider brand with 8 out of the top 10 SKUs in the segment*. These newly designed packs and cans are sure to be a hit.

All data is representative of latest 26 weeks.

* Data Sources: Symphony EYC, Dunnhumby. Based on sales in the 26 Week period ending 29 January 2023 compared to the 26 Week period ending 30 January 2022 for all measured stores in Republic of Ireland of products in the Cider super category.

Surging ahead

Stonewall cider enjoyed double digit volume growth in 2022

Double digit sales volume growth in 2022 for Stonewell has really caught a lot of retailers off guard, with many scrambling to fill their stockrooms in December 2022. The demand for Stonewell products by consumers shows no signs of abating and the supposedly fallow month of January was no exception.

Stonewell as the first craft cider maker came on the scene like a whirlwind in 2010, and the Irish beverage scene had a niche that just needed to be filled. Stonewell was just the right blend, in the right place and at the right time. The mainstays of the brand are Stonewell Medium Dry, Stonewell Dry and Stonewell 0%. The consistency of the product is remarkable, especially as Stonewell Cider eschew tampering with their products by introducing artificial additives, colourings, flavourings or diluting with concentrates or water.

Daniel the owner, a winemaker by training does concede that being a purist in this market brings its fair share of challenges. Particularly in this era of input cost inflation. Ireland is a market where people trade on their reputation and reliability, he says. Having set the bar so high for himself over a decade ago and maintaining that consistently high quality of product since inception has paid dividends.

“The Irish consumer is loyal to well-made Irish produce. The craft industry is thriving in spite of rising cost of living issues. It is reassuring to know that Irish people care more than most about how they nourish their bodies and this is certainly the feedback that Daniel and his small team are getting from their large and ever growing legion of customers”.

Cider consumption is comparatively large in Ireland, dominated obviously by the commercial brands fighting it out for market share. But in rural Cork there’s a company that isn’t trying to dominate, just modestly grow its little share, catering to the market that craves and appreciates premium craft Irish cider, made only with fresh juice and the best of Irish cider apples at that. The profiles created as a result of this effort are distinctive and incomparable.

Stonewell Cider is available right across the country by Classic Drinks who also carry other specialised Stonewell products. It is also available from Value Centres around the country, BWG Food Services and Barry’s of Mallow in addition to Dunnes Stores, Supervalu and Centra and many more off licences.

Strong on innovation

This new design is a testament to C&C’s commitment to innovation and desire to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving market

Strongbow, the well-known cider brand produced by C&C Group, has announced the release of its new packaging design, aimed at providing a better reflection of the brand’s identity and the quality of its cider. The new design is set to roll out nationwide over the next few months.

The new packaging features a more modern look that is both sleek and stylish, while still being instantly recognisable as Strongbow. The updated design aims to give a more contemporary feel to the brand and improve premium perceptions. This design is a testament to C&C’s commitment to innovation and desire to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving market. Look out for the new look pack in stores nationwide.

Cider facts

  • Cider is a low alcohol drink produced by partial or complete fermentation of apple juices, pear juices, and other fruit juices.
  • The alcoholic content of the beverage ranges from 1.2% to 8.5% alcohol by volume (ABV).
  • The market is classified into apple flavored, fruit flavored, and perry. On the basis of packaging, the market is segmented into draught, cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, and others
  • The cider market is more concentrated in Europe and is growing rapidly in North America

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