Blog: Royal Gala
Chris Brook-Carter | 23 December 2003
Towards the end of November, I attended a special tasting of UK cider producers at the House of Commons at Westminster. Perhaps surprisingly, this was my first comprehensive cider tasting in six years in drinks journalism and I was surprised by the diversity of product on offer. Strongbow, White Lightning and Blackthorne’s were notable by their absence. This was a day for the more up-market and specialist brews.
The message was clear, cider, like its counterpart beer, has a range of products to suit all tastes, and is, at its best, a premium product crafted by people passionate for the sector. The problem, of course, is that this couldn’t be further from the image widely held by the drinks buying public.
The producers showing their wares talked about growing the specialist and premium end of the category - rather as beer has been doing - to increase interest. However, cider has considerably more work to do.
It was given an unexpected fillip, though, last month, when it became apparent that the drink is the beverage of choice of Prince William. The supermarket chain Waitrose has apparently seen a 22.8% jump in sales in the past four weeks while traditional English brews from small producers leapt by as much as 35%.
Spokesman Christian Cull added: "Prince William has given cider a new young and sophisticated image. Until recently cider was seen by many to be an old traditionalist's drink, forever associated with the West Country."
Importantly, cider producers have not been slow to try to capitalise on this association and as a 21st birthday present, William had a cider apple named after him.
Some people in India believe alcohol should be more difficult to purchase. Last month, the state of Bihar halted all alcohol sales as its chief minister made good on an election promise. ...
Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....
Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....
I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....
- The category today - Scotch Whisky I
- Today's Market Trends - Scotch Whisky II
- Key Brands Performance - Scotch Whisky IV
- Tomorrow's Market Trends - Scotch Whisky III
- Category Trends - Scotch Whisky V
- Brown-Forman shuffles director pack
- Diageo to accept US$1m South Korea fine
- Beam Suntory names CFO, makes structural changes
- Spirits can fill music industry gap - Jagermeister
- Diageo's Smirnoff Red, White & Berry - NPD
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Soft Drinks Global Overview: Growth Opportunities Between Category Lines
- Consumer and Market Insights: Wine Market in China
- Global travel retail insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends