How rosy is the Cider category in Scotland’s on-trade?

If cider had an emoji it would be one with a big smile and two plump shiny apple-red cheeks because in Scotland cider is experiencing both volume and value growth, thanks to the success of draught cider, which is in growth by 10.5% and 14.8% respectively.

In fact, the cider category in Scotland is worth £144million MAT (moving annual total), having grown by 1.4% since (CGA February 2019).

Generating almost £2BN of revenue and enjoying 4% value growth annually (CGA December 2018) cider is one of the few categories in the wider UK on trade – along with gin and soft drinks – enjoying growth
in both volume and value sales. Its steady growth over the last five years has been largely driven by draught cider, which has experienced almost 9%
annual value growth and now occupies 68% total value share, whilst packaged cider holds 32% share (CGA December 2018).

WHAT THE TRADE SAYS…

“We just go in Orchard Thieves so it’s too early to say how it’s doing other than to say it did come about after a few customers requested a dryer cider. Rekorderlig in cans sell all year round but that tends to be a younger
demographic whereas the older customer tends to order pints and go for a dryer brand like Magners.”

Holly Liddle, Bar 91, Glasgow

“I could talk about cider for hours and I can see a lot more
craft ciders gaining momentum in the next few years – in fact,
I can see it happening already. Cidersmiths is our main keg
but we do a lot of still ciders – Olivers does well as does
Westons and Hallets and Hecks – as do the naturally flavoured
sweeter ones. We tend to have a dry, medium and more perry
one on (pear-flavoured).”

Xander Lawrie, Angels Share, Edinburgh

“Kopparberg non-alcoholic is being asked for more and more
and the Strongbow Dark Fruits range is also very popular. We
all know that more people drink cider in the sunshine, but the
category ticks over all year long thanks to its popularity among
younger drinkers (that’s the 18 to 25 bracket). In fact, there
isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t sell cider. Customers
in their 30s and 40s are more likely to drink it when it’s sunny
and the over-ice pour is still attractive to customers.”

Lee Bruce, The Fort Hotel, Broughty Ferry

“Kopparberg mixed fruits non-alcoholic is doing really well and we have a huge outdoor area and a lot more people are driving and not drinking these days so we have upped our stock of non-alcoholic cider (and wine) by about two cases (for each category) per week. Magners also sells really well – about 2 kegs per week. But the biggest change I think is that people now expect a fruit garnish as part of the serve.”

Danny McKenna, The Birds and The Bees, Stirling

“We stock the classic Magners and Kopparberg ranges and our customers
are pretty happy with that. I do have a rotational keg and try to mix things up, which even the cider stalwarts are responsive to. For example, I’ve just ordered in a dry grape cloudy apple cider.”

John Kennedy, The Millhouse, Stewarton

FUN CIDER FACTS

There are over 350 varieties of cider apples in the UK – almost one for every day of the year. As well as the famous Hen’s Turd apple, you can make cider with apple varieties including Cat’s Head, Sheep’s Nose, Foxwhelp and Yellow Willy.

President John Adams, the third longest lived U.S. president, enjoyed a tankard of hard cider every morning with breakfast.

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