The market research body says the sector has undergone a ‘revolution’ in recent years, throwing off a low cost, inferior image - yet consumers still only turn to cider occasionally.
Craft production, and sensory fusions (crossing cider with wine or spirits) can help continue to boost the categories fortunes, analysts add.
Learn from the craft beer movement
A consumer survey by Canadean showed 19% of UK consumers have drunk cider in the last six months, but 57% of those drinkers only consume the beverage occasionally.
The cider market is worth £4bn ($6bn), up from £3.2bn ($4.9bn) in 2010, but more can be done to increase sales, analysts say.
Kirsty Nolan, analyst, Canadean, told BeverageDaily.com producers should learn from the success of the craft beer movement, emphasising premium products.
“In order to target consumers seeking a premium and upmarket drinking occasion, the cider category must move away from the association with high volume soft drinks and alcopops.
“Rather, crossover drinks must bring a more sophisticated element to the product – something beyond just another fruit flavoured cider. For instance, last year Orwell’s Amaretto Cider was launched from SHS Drinks. This entrant into the ‘spider’ category provides consumers with a new flavour, reminiscent of cherry bakewell.
“Further crossovers with spirits, particularly on-trend spirits such as gin, offer great potential for innovation.”
62% of cider drinkers said they were interested in craft products. These are ciders that are positioned around purity, high quality ingredients and craftsmanship.
41% of those surveyed expressed interest in fusing cider with wine or spirits.
In both categories, younger adults showed the most desire for these products.
Making cider trendy
Nolan said cider has successfully left behind negative connotations, and consumers will now often choose to pay more for cider over beer.
“The cider market has risen due to successful strategic targeting of different occasions. So naturally, consumers now pair certain brands of ciders with specific drinking occasions.
“For instance, Orchard Pig has successfully positioned itself along with food occasions, Kopparberg with music and Brothers with festival culture. There remain many opportunities to further enhance the sophisticated and premium cider market with new brands and products.
“Taking select elements from the craft beer movement, such as emphasis on sourcing, authenticity and heritage will push the cider category into premium territory.”
*Beverage & Dairy Treatment 2015: Free Online Event featuring speakers from Zenith International, KHS, Refresco Gerber and Meiji. Click here to register for the free online event.