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April 9, 2021updated 11 May 2021 7:36pm

Northeast Drinks Group outlines Vermont Hard Cider Co plans as purchase completes

The new owner of C&C Group's former US cider unit is to launch new products to help revive the Woodchuck brand.

The new owner of C&C Group’s former US cider unit is looking to launch new products to help revive the Woodchuck brand.

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Completing the purchase of Woodchuck-owner Vermont Hard Cider yesterday, Northeast Drinks Group (NDG) said it will focus on innovations and investment in a bid to return the cider brand to health. C&C Group bought Vermont Hard Cider in 2012 for US$305m but following years of poor performance, offloaded the division to Northeast Drinks for just US$20m.

C&C announced the sale last month.

New Woodchuck launches will include the re-introduction of limited-edition ciders in the coming months that will pay homage to the brand’s variants over the years.

Vermont management praised the takeover and said Woodchuck “demonstrated healthy growth” in 2020. “With NDG, we look forward to new ownership not only investing in key areas of support with our existing brands but also focusing on new product innovation and launches,” added VHC’s sales & marketing head, Bridget Blacklock.

Along with Vermont Hard Cider, NDG’s acquisition also included Green Mountain Beverage, a manufacturer of and co-packing facility for hard cider, alcoholic RTDs and speciality non-alcoholic beverages. Vermont will continue to import C&C’s owned cider brands including Magners.

During its ownership of Vermont, C&C was forced into write-downs including an impairment charge of EUR150m (then-US$170m) in 2015. In full-year results for the 12 months to the end of February 2015, depletions for Vermont’s Woodchuck cider brand fell 15%.

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Understand the impact of decreasing sugar consumption on the F&B market

Growing consumer concern regarding health and wellbeing has increased the focus on reducing sugar consumption. This has driven food and beverage manufacturers, alongside governments, to take measures to meet this challenge. In addition, the pandemic heightened the focus on self-care, including implementing healthy eating to support the immune system. Now more than ever, consumers are paying attention to the amount of sugar and calories in the products they purchase. Access GlobalData’s new whitepaper, The Sugar Reduction Challenge – Past, Present and Future Outlooks within Beverages, to better understand the recent trends in sugar demand, how manufacturers and governments have responded to the challenge, and what solutions are available to the industry. The white paper covers:
  • The key factors behind the recent trends in sugar consumption
  • What is driving consumer choices when shopping for food and beverages?
  • How companies and governments are stepping up their efforts to meet consumers’ expectations
  • The outlook for sugar demand
  • Which ingredients stand to benefit from these future developments?
Enter your details here to receive the free whitepaper.
by GlobalData
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