Fruit drops

“Flavoured cider makes up one-third of the cider market within New Zealand and has seen rapid growth that drove the category for several years. As taste profiles develop, we have seen consumers move through the category into more traditional-style ciders, which has slowed the growth of flavoured cider, though it continues to be the segment within cider that sees the most innovation.”

New Zealand brand Old Mout cider was launched on to the UK market in 2014 and brand owner Heineken reports that it is growing at a phenomenal rate – contributing 17% volume growth to the market in the on-trade.

Emma Sherwood-Smith, brand unit director of cider brands at the company, says: “Old Mout drives value for licensees – a branded glass, filled with ice, a cold Old Mout and a garnish of fresh fruit can command a more premium price and is a real point of difference to other ciders.”

Heineken has tripled its media spend on Old Mout in the UK compared to last year, as the brand is growing and the world cider segment is driving value within the category. Its latest multi-million pound campaign aims to further establish the brand’s unique, quirky character and increase consumer awareness and interest.

Meanwhile Kopparberg, a brand that’s positioned as the ‘world’s favourite local cider’, is available in 37 countries and, as well as doing well in the UK, it is performing impressively in Spain and Australia too.

The Kopparberg story started back in 1882 when the brewery began with beer then went on to traditional apple cider. Access to pears led to the launch of perry then use of the wild fruit growing in the forests around the brewery led to the firm different fruit flavours.

Kopparberg customer marketing manager Rob Salvesen says mixed fruit cider hit the UK market in 2007 and it’s still the company’s bestselling cider today. But that’s not to say there hasn’t been further innovation from the brand – new flavours and pack formats have all helped in attracting young consumers. The UK is the number one market for Kopparberg and Salvesen puts this down to people travelling a lot and being exposed to the brand when they’re abroad.

After mixed fruit, the second best selling flavour here is Strawberry & Lime, which is in double-digit growth of 17%.

“Fruit cider is very refreshing and is doing unbelievably well in the on-trade,” says Salvesen. He says it’s best served over chunks of ice in a Kopparberg branded glass. “We’re a lean company with just 35 employees but, wherever possible, we communicate the perfect serve. We’re currently working on tools to share with the on-trade.”

He believes it’s really important for bar staff to understand where the product comes from. “Provenance is key and staff should know what is produced here and abroad to deliver the notion to consumers that it’s worth paying more for.

“Food pairing is important too – bar staff should speak to their chef to understand which flavours work best together. This is important to driving additional sales.”