A UK cider company has secured distribution in Australia.

Family-owned Aspall Cyder has teamed up with niche Australian brewer Little World Beverages in the country, the two companies said today (21 March).

Little World, which is 34%-owned by Lion Nathan, said it is "pleased" with the relationship it has established with Aspall, which has been producing cider in the UK for almost 280 years.

"This product is consistent with the company's focus on the production and distribution of premium products," Little World CEO Jason Marinko said. "The cider market in Australia is in its infancy and our relationship with Aspall will enable the company to explore different opportunities for growth in the sector in the coming years."

Barry Chevallier Guild, a partner at Aspall Cyder, told just-drinks that Little World has "the same philosophy" to the UK cider producer.

"(Little World) cares for its brands like we do and wants to build brands over the long term," Chevallier Guild said. "Little World knows what it is doing when it comes to marketing premium beer, so it's a good association for us."

Chevallier Guild said that while the cider market in Australia is "fairly stagnant at the moment", he hopes that premium cider will grow in popularity in the country in a similar way to premium beers.

Import beers have driven a surge in premium beer sales in the country, with the segment growing by 15% a year for the last five years.

The aim, Chevallier Guild added, would be to target Aspall at upmarket on-trade outlets "in all major conurbations" in Australia.

Little World, meanwhile, is looking to develop its own cider brand, which is set to launch later this year.