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US: Big cider brands drive on-trade growth - figures

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US on-trade hard cider sales are continuing to outpace beer with growth being driven by the three major brands, according to latest figures. 

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Boston Beer Company's Angry Orchard, Heineken's Strongbow and Anheuser-Busch InBev's Stella Artois Cidre, which now account for 45% of total on-trade cider volumes, drove around 99% of category volume growth in the year to early November, according to tracking firm Guestmetrics. The three brands posted combined on-trade volume growth of 317%, compared to around 230 other brands, which grew combined volumes by just 0.3% on the prior year, the figures showed.  

Overall cider category volumes are up 53% in the year-to-date and 52% in Q3. However, this was a slowdown on Q1 growth

In contrast, US on-trade beer volumes fell 3.7% in the year-to-date and is “underperforming” wine and spirits, Guestmetrics noted. 

The tracking firm said that restaurants offer an opportunity for cider, which still only represents 1% of total US on-trade beer and cider volumes. Currently 70% of US bars and clubs sell hard cider, while only 47% of “casual” dining outlets and 24% of fine dining restuarants stock cider. “The lower penetration among restaurants could represent a significant opportunity in terms of future growth in cider,” the firm said.

Anheuser-Busch InBev last month revealed it plans to launch a new hard cider in the US to capitalise on growth in the category


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