Analysis

Analysis - Imported ciders face tough task in US

Most popular

Pernod Ricard plan under fire - Analysis

Six trends shaping cannabis beverages

When is a rum not a rum? When it's Captain Morgan

Heineken takes 'Newky Brown' to California

MORE

Cider appears to be continuing its breakthrough in the US, with domestic brands outperforming imports.

Domestic cider is performing better than imported cider in the US

Domestic cider is performing better than imported cider in the US

Latest figures collated by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) show that volumes of domestic cider in the first four months of 2014 were up 74%, while import volumes fell by 11%. Total category volumes in the January to April period were at an all-time high of 7.5m cases, according to figures from the US Department of Commerce, and the Tax and Trade Bureau, seen by the NBWA. 

It's too early to tell, but I suspect these figures have been buoyed by the launch of major new brands by Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors. In March, MillerCoors released Smith & Forge, followed soon after by A-B InBev with Johnny Appleseed. Both are being backed, as you would expect, by a significant advertising spend. And, no doubt, this has a positive ripple effect for the rest of the category.

As the NBWA notes: “There are undercurrents in the marketplace, with many new domestic cider brands hitting the shelves and replacing traditional imported ciders.”

And, its not only the big boys who are benefiting from the renewed interest in the drink – known as hard cider in the US. In May, Boston Beer Co. reported a strong performance from its Angry Orchard brand.

Not everyone is getting a boost, though. One of the few domestic strugglers appears to be Woodchuck, owned by Ireland's C&C Group through the Vermont Hard Cider Co. Earlier this month, it reported a slip in sales for the brand, blaming “increasing competition”.

Importers like Heineken, with its Strongbow brand, and Carlsberg, with Somersby, could also face an uphill struggle, although Heineken appears to see Strongbow variants as a way to tackle the opposition

And A-B InBev clearly sees some mileage for its French brand, Stella Artois Cidre, in the US, having rolled it out to all 50 states earlier this year.

But, at present the situation looks tough for imported ciders in the US. According to May's figures from the Department of Commerce total market volume share for non-domestic cider has now slipped from a high of 30% in 2005 to 8% in May 2014. 

The US cider market is a tiny pie, accounting for less than 1% of the overall US beer market. But, for imported brands it may only be crumbs, rather than slices, to feed off.


Related Content

This week in beer & cider, featuring the takeover prospects for craft brewers, Asahi Super Dry's Deliveroo tie-up and a grim year for beer in the US?

This week in beer & cider, featuring the takeover prospects for craft brewers, Asahi Super Dry's Del...

Heineken faces tough battle in China's growing super-premium tier - analysis

Heineken faces tough battle in China's growing super-premium tier - analysis...

"Astounding" Dark Fruit keeps Heineken's Strongbow draught cider in growth - figures...

This week in beer & cider, featuring the craft battle's move east, how C&C Group is going to save Magners and is Peroni poised for China?

This week in beer & cider, featuring the craft battle's move east, how C&C Group is going to save Ma...

Oops! This article is copy protected.

Why can’t I copy the text on this page?

The ability to copy articles is specially reserved for people who are part of a group membership.

How do I become a group member?

To find out how you and your team can copy and share articles and save money as part of a group membership call Sean Clinton on
+44 (0)1527 573 736 or complete this form..



Forgot your password?