Fruit puts the squeeze on apple and pear cider

Fruit cider is still driving growth in the cider market while pear and apple struggle, the latest Nielsen figures have revealed.

The off-trade cider market grew 3.3% in the year to September 13, according to Nielsen figures in Swedish cider brand Kopparberg’s autumn report on the UK cider category.

That growth was fuelled by fruit, which grew 35% to £245.7 million, boosting its share of the market 6% to 26%.

But pear cider sales dropped 29% to £61.9 million, losing nearly 3% market share, which is now just 6%.

Meanwhile apple slipped 1% to £652.3 million, and its market share fell 3% to 68%.

Strongbow, the biggest brand in the market, has consolidated its position by boosting fruit cider sales by £35.1 million to £48.4 million, more than compensating for falling sales of apple (-3%) and pear cider (-43%) so that the brand grew by 7.6% overall.

Fruit-dominated Kopparberg is the second-biggest brand and boosted overall sales by 19.6%, with fruit up 33%.

Bulmers’ sales fell 7.3%, even though the brand is dominated by fruit cider and its fruit sales grew 10%. But apple sales fell 22% and pear declined by more than £5.4 million.

Stella Cidre and Magners, both dominated by apple, saw sales drop.

But smaller-selling apple cider brands are seeing good growth – Westons, Thatchers and Frosty Jacks all increased sales by double digits.

The biggest growth in the market came from Rekorderlig, which saw sales grow 24.7%.

Kopparberg Mixed Fruit is the most popular fruit cider variant in the off-trade, with sales up 25% to £46.1 million.

Strongbow Dark Fruit sales soared 218% to £42.5 million, making it the second-biggest variant in the market.

They were followed by Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime, Bulmers Crushed Red Berries & Lime, Rekorderlig Strawberry & Lime, Bulmers Bold Black Cherry, Jacques Fruits de Bois, Rekorderlig Wild Berries, Stella Artois Cidre Raspberry and Strongbow Citrus Edge.

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