C&C Group is targeting international markets

C&C Group is targeting international markets

The growing US cider market mirrors the country's craft beer sector 20 years ago and can reach similar levels over time, the boss of C&C Group has argued. 

Speaking at the CAGE Annual conference in Central London yesterday (March 21), Stephen Glancey, C&C Group's CEO, said the company is targeting expansion in North America, Australia and Europe with its cider brands, including Magners. Commenting on the US situation, he said: “It's like the craft beer category 15 to 20 years ago. There's a lot of people getting into cider and it will take a lot of time to get up to craft beer, but it will happen.” 

The US cider market grew last year by 25%, according to latest figures, but overall penetration is still only 0.2%. Glancey suggested cider was seen as an “extension” of craft beer in the US.

But, he admitted the challenge was investing in experiential marketing to get people to sample cider.

Meanwhile, in Australia the category grew by 35% in 2011, which the C&C boss branded “quite phenomenal”. Sweet, flavoured ciders are understood to be driving growth in the market.

Overall, cider is in growth internationally, Glancey said, with the UK consuming 50% of all volumes. But, Glancey added: “For cider manufacturers, the mature, developed markets remain the emerging markets.”  

Speculating on the reason for the recent growth of cider, Glancey said: “The 'Coca-Cola generation' seems more inclined to this (cider), than to beer, which is difficult to access and difficult to innovate with. Whereas, cider is easier to innovate with as a category.” 

In January, C&C Group created an international MD role to boost its cider exports. 

just-drinks and sister site just-food were the exclusive media partners for the CAGE conference, which ran from Monday to Wednesday in London.