Cider/Perry: Adapting, Evolving and Growing

Cider/Perry has witnessed phenomenal developments in the last 10 years, making it now the fastest-growing alcoholic drinks category, in volume terms. In Cider/Perry: Outlook and Opportunities, Euromonitor International looks at some of the dynamics that are currently supporting its strong growth, and will continue to do so in the next five years.

One of the defining features of the category has been the internationalisation of brands that have driven expansion beyond the UK and other markets that have historically consumed the tipple. The market has been segmenting and opening up to a wider consumer spectrum, from value-seeking to quality-pursuing drinkers. In addition, demand for “craft” in beer has spilled over into the category, expanding the premium offerings. Cider/perry makers are also taking to the approach of product sophistication by positioning the tipple as a suitable alternative to wine, as observed in the US. The category is also witnessing the next stage of its evolution as it shifts towards niche areas covering white spaces such as “light cider” and “spirit-cider”, otherwise promoted as “spider”.


A bright future for this small market

Cider/perry is expected to be the fastest-growing category in volume terms when compared to beer and wine, with a forecast CAGR of 9%. The US market is key to growth in global sales, following the double-digit growth rates it witnessed over the 2009-2014 period, and is expected to continue seeing in the next five years. Consumption in the US will also grow to levels that are bound to equal consumption in the UK.

The category’s relatively small and low-base global size is significant in terms of its dynamic growth rate, and it has much to expand on, as vast numbers of consumers have almost no knowledge of or access to the drink. There is a need for product awareness activities and geographic expansion by cider/perry makers in Asia Pacific, where the tipple is almost non-existent, and Eastern Europe, where product awareness is on the rise already.

Where can small cider/perry makers develop?

Smaller cider/perry makers have much to gain from a global expansion in volume sales. Global players such as Heineken NV, Carlsberg A/S, and A-B InBev NV will compete for the top spot in cider/perry sales in the most dynamic markets.  So small makers can develop their brand awareness on the back of the promotional work undertaken by the global players and expand in one of the world’s fastest-growing cider/perry markets, the US. By taking the craft beer approach of promoting the story and heritage of their brand, small cider/perry makers will be able to access a consumer pool that typically favours premium brands. Small cider/perry makers should also look towards Asia Pacific, where the main challenge for them will be raising product awareness and differentiating the beverage from sparkling wine.