Blog: Royal Gala
Chris Brook-Carter | 23 December 2003
Towards the end of November, I attended a special tasting of UK cider producers at the House of Commons at Westminster. Perhaps surprisingly, this was my first comprehensive cider tasting in six years in drinks journalism and I was surprised by the diversity of product on offer. Strongbow, White Lightning and Blackthorne’s were notable by their absence. This was a day for the more up-market and specialist brews.
The message was clear, cider, like its counterpart beer, has a range of products to suit all tastes, and is, at its best, a premium product crafted by people passionate for the sector. The problem, of course, is that this couldn’t be further from the image widely held by the drinks buying public.
The producers showing their wares talked about growing the specialist and premium end of the category - rather as beer has been doing - to increase interest. However, cider has considerably more work to do.
It was given an unexpected fillip, though, last month, when it became apparent that the drink is the beverage of choice of Prince William. The supermarket chain Waitrose has apparently seen a 22.8% jump in sales in the past four weeks while traditional English brews from small producers leapt by as much as 35%.
Spokesman Christian Cull added: "Prince William has given cider a new young and sophisticated image. Until recently cider was seen by many to be an old traditionalist's drink, forever associated with the West Country."
Importantly, cider producers have not been slow to try to capitalise on this association and as a 21st birthday present, William had a cider apple named after him.
Paul Walsh just can't stay away from the drinks industry....
For those people looking to the Red Planet as shining utopia away from all things earth, look away now....
Bacardi's 42 Below vodka brand has found a novel way to use the lemons left over from cocktail-making: Turn them into liquid soap....
Philadelphia’s soda tax came into force on Sunday, and is reportedly causing a stir in the city's check-out aisles....
- Ten questions for Diageo - Analysis
- Have spirits companies forgotten the mainstream?
- How craft beer has shattered its US shackles
- Ashwagandha - The next functional drinks trend?
- New CEO sparks optimism at Coca-Cola - Analysis
- Moet Hennessy unaffected by LVMH Dior buy
- BrewDog moves into spirits with LoneWolf launch
- Portman Group heads to Tesco for new chief exec
- William Grant names Europe & NA Travel Retail head
- Johnnie Walker Bourbon Cask & Rye Finish - NPD
- Global Scotch insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Champagne and sparkling wine insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Battle of the Generations - The fight for iGen, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers
- Craft Beer: Coming of Age or Past Its Prime?
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report