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GLOBAL: Premium cider at risk as 'hybrid' consumers emerge

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International premium cider brands risk getting "stuck in the middle" as a new type of hybrid consumer favouring super-premium or value options emerges, according to a new study. 

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A Rabobank report, published today (8 July), suggests that cider's "under-developed" super-premium and value segments will lead growth in mature markets, as the premium and mainstream brands decelerate. Companies will be "forced to further differentiate themselves or risk losing market share," the report says. 

Rababank flagged that 55% of cider drinkers are women, mostly under 30 years old. "This so-called female millennial is the demographic most likely to exhibit hybrid consumer behavior, in which people eschew mid-market options in favour of brands at the extreme end of the product spectrum, switching between super-premium and value options as the occasion demands," analyst Francois Sonneville added. 

Sonneville said companies should "follow the example of major US brewers and invest in the super-premium segment at an early stage". 

The Rabobank study also suggests that wineries are likely to become more "active" in the top-end of the cider market. "Wineries already have the right image and distribution contacts to gain a foothold in the super-premium segment - especially in Australia and the US - where wineries are under-represented in the cider category," the report says. 

Juice processors are also well-placed to benefit from from the growth in value cider, the report says. Meanwhile, producers that use juice from China have a "long-term cost advantage" over competitiors who use juice and apples from other parts of the world, it added. 

To read exclusive just-drinks commentary on brewers also stepping into the cider category, click here


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