Not so long ago cider was all about ice, but now much of the buzz surrounding this category is about small, or craft, cans and other new formats. Of course, these are not limited to cider – beer is streets ahead when it comes to diversifying into 33cl cans, and it’s a trend that shows no sign of abating.
There’s nothing stale about the cider category at the moment. In the past year we have seen the growth of craft canned cider as well as a concerted effort from producers to flag up the authenticity of their brands, ranging from highlighting traditional English apple varieties to pinpointing the actual orchard and apple grower.
There is a sense that despite still being the dominant wine category in the UK, Australia has for some time been lying low and not fully realising its potential. Adverse exchange rates, greater competition from New (and Old) World rivals, the lure of more profitable export markets, plus a perhaps inevitable cooling off after the first great flush of pro-Aussie excitement have all taken their toll on the momentum of this country. But with industry confidence on the up, focus on the UK is on the rise again, and renewed interest has clearly been sparked among both UK buyers and commentators alike.
NZ is big in Sauvignon Blanc and growing in Pinot Noir, but it has plenty more up its sleeve, says Sonya Hook
Mont Ventoux has a special place in cycling folklore as its gruelling 6,273ft peak has overwhelmed some of the sport’s leading stars during the Tour de France.
Britain has entered the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, the falling apples are ripe to the core and the cider presses are in full flow. Autumn is a time of change and it is easy to become overwhelmed by Keatsian wistfulness as you stroll through the Herefordshire countryside, taking in landscapes brimming with yellow, red and gold and breathing in the sweet scents.
Britain’s two most famous Davids recently visited the Cameronbridge distillery in eastern Scotland – former prime minister Cameron and former England captain, style icon and all-round superstar Beckham. It’s not hard to guess which one caused the off-duty female staff to come into work simply to catch a glimpse. Beckham has regularly been voted the world’s best looking man, while Cameron has been described as a “slightly camp gammon robot… a C3PO made of ham”.
Consumers across the country must be overjoyed by the fact that gifting in alcohol is now a “thing”. Of course bottles of wine or whisky have always been popular gifts at Christmas, but other drinks are now making more of an effort to get in on the act through a combination of high-profile ads, POS activity or specialist gift packs.
The growing passion for packaged beer in the UK has opened up exciting opportunities for retailers.
UK wine producers are celebrating an “exceptional” harvest, with many reporting 2016 shaping up to be a high quality vintage.
It's a transitional period for cider. The category is declining 2% each year yet the market has never seemed so dynamic. Meanwhile the level of commitment from producers - both in terms of marketing spend and NPD – is a clear indication that there’s money to be made from cider.
As the nights draw in and consumers take to home entertaining, new opportunities arise, says Sonya Hook:
Chile’s diversity of climate and terroir is wooing consumers to broaden their repertoire through its wine offering. Sonya Hook reports
At first glance, the new store in the affluent Surrey town of Weybridge looks like any other local business, blending seamlessly into a high street frequented by multimillionaires, Chelsea footballers and other celebrities. But the once-derelict warehouse is actually the powerhouse behind the UK’s largest wine supplier, Accolade Wines, and the store in front is its first UK venture into bricks-and-mortar retailing.
Wine has always been an integral part of the Marks & Spencer proposition. It enjoys an exalted position, with producers clamouring to climb aboard its prized supplier podium. Wine accounts for a massive 85% of total BWS at the retailer, but BWS trading manager Gary Brooking and his team are also focused on developing the hitherto underperforming beers and spirits sector of the business. “We’re taking beer to a new level,” Brooking tells OLN. “We’re starting from a small base, but it’s a significant focus for us.”
The apple may have originated in Kazakhstan – via the Garden of Eden, of course – but many countries have claimed it as their own: to our Gallic cousins it’s as French as a beret-clad man eating a brie baguette, while there is nothing more American than apple pie. But the English might just have them all trumped as an apple is as quintessentially English as cricket on a village green, The Archers, drinking tea, moaning about the weather and queuing in an orderly fashion. “Few autumnal pleasures outshine sinking your teeth into the blushing virgin flesh of a sweet, yet ever so subtly tart, English apple,” gushes The Telegraph in a recent homage to the fruit. No wonder Adam found it so tempting.
South Africa continues to generate great enthusiasm among commentators and the trade in the UK, with many singling it out as the most exciting southern hemisphere wine producer, and often by a country mile. Translating such enthusiasm to sales, though, and especially at a premium level, can be a little trickier. It’s an issue that underpins the core themes of this supplement and one that our various commentators and South African champions look to address.
Every Wednesday, the Advertising Standards Authority releases a bulletin detailing complaints about breaches of its code of practice. One recent batch included false claims about amounts received in PPI agency cases, badly-worded nutrition information about a breakfast cereal and misleading details about the number of attendees at a festival that hadn’t happened yet.
If any drink can conjure up theatre, sunshine and fun then tequila must be one of the strongest contenders.A tray of tequila shots laced with salt and lemon wedges is a guaranteed way to kickstart a night out.
Young people are driving the demand for craft beer and spirits and spending less on mainstream brands, and this is one of the main drivers behind the value growth in these two categories.
Prosecco is the perfect success story; Britons love it and the media loves to write about it.
Exotic fruity flavours continue to squeeze their way onto crowded cider shelves but are fans starting to lose interest?
Amid the deafening buzz gin has created in the past few years, it is easy to forget that vodka is by far the biggest spirits category in the UK.
Jay Wright runs one of the UK’s most successful online wine retailers, Virgin Wines, which has more than 120 staff, a turnover of £40 million and north of 200,000 customers.
The English wine industry will continue to flourish for many years as long as new producers uphold the dedication to quality that has made it world famous, according to a leading supplier.
The Aldi beers, wines and spirits team is riding the crest of a wave this year. Knocking Waitrose off the podium as Best Supermarket in this year’s Drinks Retailing Awards, as well as scooping the top gongs for Multiple Wine Retailer of the Year and Drinks Buying Team of the Year, is worthy recognition for the sterling work the Aldi drinks team has been undertaking over the past couple of years.
The UK’s fascination with imported beer is nothing new but it definitely feels like it’s moved into a whole new phase in the past couple of years.
The 2016 Essential Guide to Cider provides expert analysis on the trends developing within the cider market and what retailers can do to boost sales. It features a style guide, reveals statistics on the brands and categories that are driving growth and those that are seeing sales decline, and offers opinion on what the trade can do to drive value into the market, herald a return to growth and boost shoppers’ education of the myriad wonders contained within cider.
Most fathers welcome any excuse to enjoy a glass of their favourite tipple, but Father’s Day is one of the few occasions cemented in the calendar for dads to relax, guilt free.
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