Blog: One bad apple
Chris Brook-Carter | 25 November 2003
Walk into a UK pub or bar and contemplate the array of drinks on offer, and one that many people would not consider is cider. Unless, of course, you walk into a pub in the west country. A recent trip to Somerset confirms that, in this small pocket of the United Kingdom at least, cider is alive and well. But times have been tough for the drink.
Since around 1995, cider volumes have been down and value has been eroded. As the popularity of cider has taken a beating, so has its relevance to retailers. The emphasis has been more on “buy one, get one free” or “50% extra free” than trying to “sex up” the image of cider to a new generation of drinkers. Peter Spencer, managing director of Matthew Clark, makers of Blackthorn and Gaymer’s Olde English, is well aware of the situation. “Most people tend to associate cider with either their first teenage hangover, or men with pipes and beards.”
The fiasco at Bulmers, and the subsequent acquisition of the company by Scottish & Newcastle, has redirected the focus in the industry away from this main issue. These have been interesting – and difficult – times for those in the business of making cider. But Matthew Clark has recently made a strong statement of intent for the future. The company remains committed to the cider business, and believes that it is a strategic imperative for both Matthew Clark and its owner Constellation.
What the industry needs is a market leader to take control of the perceptions surrounding cider drinking. Be it Bulmers or Matthew Clark, the sooner these issues in the British drinkers’ heads are challenged, the sooner the choppy waters of the past eight years can be greeted by a calming, golden sunrise.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Heineken to stay "active player" in beer M&A - CFO
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- Focus - Heineken's Q3 Performance by Region
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- Diageo puts Beckham centre stage in Haig Club ad
- Smirnoff Ice gets India launch