Blog: Chris Brook-CarterOne 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.


BLOG

Diet Coke decline leaves Pepsi sitting pretty

Last year was tough for The Coca-Cola Co. So staff in Atlanta won't be pleased to read that Pepsi has overtaken Diet Coke as the no. 2 soda brand in the US. ...

BLOG

Net-buster kicks-off Budweiser 'Dream Goal' campaign - video

A bit of football fun for a Friday. Anheuser-Busch InBev has released the ad that will accompany its new Budweiser 'Dream Goal' campaign, that seeks to find the UK's best amateur goal. ...

BLOG

Are New York's craft beer fans any the (Bud)weiser?

No sooner had Anheuser-Busch InBev taken a gentle pop at the craft beer segment during February's Super Bowl, than the world's largest brewer has challenged the sub-category's target market in New Yor...

BLOG

The secret to a long life? Three cans of Dr Pepper a day - video

A few wry grins will have been raised in the offices of Dr Pepper Snapple Group today. ...

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?