Ciders popularity is growing in the US from a low base

Cider's popularity is growing in the US from a low base

Cider continued its significant growth in the US last year as on-trade volumes rose sharply, while craft beer continued to steal category share, according to recent figures.

Volumes in the hard cider category in bars and restaurants jumped 49% in 2013, tracking firm Guestmetrics said earlier today (9 January). Fourth-quarter volumes slowed to 42%, but this was likely due to “weak” on-trade traffic rather than slowing consumer demand, according to the analysts.

The big brewers have been looking to up their interest in US cider, with Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors both announcing plans last year to launch major new brands

Cider’s year-year gain in share held steady at +0.5 points. The category's on-trade growth was "more moderate" than in the off-trade, Guestmetrics said. 

Meanwhile, craft beer brands saw an overall 4% volume rise in bars and restaurants in the full-year, while sales by value were up 7.1%. This was against a backdrop of a 4% volumes drop for the beer category as a whole.

Year-on-year, craft beer gained 2.2 points of overall beer volume, but still remains a small portion of total category sales. 

‘Premium light’ beers had a “difficult year”, Guestmetrics said, with volumes dropping by around 10% and sales by value slipping by 8.4%. The sub-category lost around 2 points of share year-on-year, the figures show.

The ‘premium regular’ and ‘imports’ sub-categories for beer also had a difficult year in the US on-trade, both falling mid-single digits in volume terms.

In terms of beer styles, IPA gained the most share, up 1.2 points, the tracking firm said.

Boston Beer Co’s hard cider Angry Orchard, Heineken’s Dos Equis, Lagunitas and Redds were the biggest share gainers in the full-year. Greatest gains in distribution were Boston Beer Co's Angry Orchard, Anheuser-Busch InBev's Budweiser Black Crown and MillerCoors' Redd's.