One of the most traditional of English industries is making bold expansion plans worldwide. Cider maker H P Bulmer has just launched a joint venture to make and sell the drink in China. And the Hereford-based company is turning to the internet in an attempt to consolidate cider’s share of the long drinks market – at 10%, it is the biggest cider sector in the world. On Wednesday, Bulmers launched, aimed at increasing its penetration of the independent pub sector. While two-thirds of managed or tenanted pubs stock draught cider, only one in three independent houses offers the drink. “It’s about making it easier for our customers to get information and order electronically. It takes time out and it takes costs out,” explained Bulmers chief executive Mike Hughes. “There are about 70,000 independent outlets, and it costs a lot to send salesmen and deliveries to all of them.”

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