C&C has seen Woodchuck volumes fall

C&C has seen Woodchuck volumes fall

C&C Group has said its US market remains “weak” as the company ramps up investment in the underperforming Woodchuck cider brand.

The company reported in May that fiscal full-year volumes for Woodchuck fell by 1%, while depletions slipped by 6%. C&C, which acquired Woodchuck producer Vermont Hard Cider Co in March last year, blamed increasing competition in the market.

In an interim statement today (3 July) covering the first four months of the fiscal year, C&C described its US market as “weak but broadly in line with internal expectations”. The company said a new marketing campaign and packaging for Woodchuck was launched in the Great Lakes region on 1 June, while a new cidery is scheduled to open on 23 August.

C&C's International MD, Joris Brams, told just-drinks in May that he wants Woodchuck to attract US craft beer consumers and intends to use marketing tools such as social media as opposed to traditional forms of advertising.

In today's statement, C&C also said the trading environment for cider in England and Wales is still “challenging” but “is now less relevant to the group’s economics”.

“Some progress (in the region) has been made towards stabilisation of our brands and earnings in the first four months,” the company added.