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Premium And Traditional Ciders Present Sales Opportunity For The Convenience Channel, Says IRI

Published on Oct 4 2015 1:03 PM in Drinks tagged: cider / Sales / IRI

Premium And Traditional Ciders Present Sales Opportunity For The Convenience Channel, Says IRI

FMCG market and shopper intelligence firm IRI has stated it believes that further growth opportunities exist for premium cider within the UK convenience sector. Although cider sales passed £1 billion last year after several years of growth, the sector is struggling, says IRI.

IRI’s market measurement and analysis of cider sales in UK off-trade retailers – which include supermarkets, off-licenses, convenience stores and independent retailers – shows that sales in the year to August 15 dropped by -3.2 per cent, amounting to more than £35 million of sales value. Volume sales were also down by -3.7 per cent to more than 481 million litres.

IRI’s analysis highlights three key drivers behind the declines as poor summer sales, more competition and shelf squeeze.

However, there are pockets of growth within cider, states IRI. These are currently from fruit-flavoured ciders – brands appealing to a younger and more female-oriented demographic with sales having increased by 23 per cent - £45million – in the last year, and premium and heritage ciders - consumers opting for products that offer something special.

Commenting on the research, Toby Magill, head of beer, wine and spirits insights at IRI, said: “Cider should have made a comeback after last year’s poor summer but didn’t. Life is about to get tougher for cider manufacturers. The poor performance of some cider segments – notably mainstream apple cider products – will be top of mind for retailers as they continue to trim lines. They are increasingly likely to favour the new innovative cider products and premium ranges that are showing impressive sales growth.”

He said that sales of cider in the convenience channel could be worth more than supermarket sales by 2020.

“Nearly half of all cider sales are currently in the convenience channel. Value and mainstream ciders do very well in convenience retailers, but we see more opportunity for premium and niche cider manufacturers to increase their share of the growing convenience channel while the supermarkets continue to focus on reducing rather than increasing range choice and so that they can capitalise on the changing consumer taste for premium cider.”

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