This progress means that in 2012, a greater share of adults drank cider than spirits (57%).
Cider is even closing in on beer in terms of usage, a market which has struggled to retain its base of drinkers in recent years, standing at 70% in 2012.
While its recent successes have helped a number of cider producers to grow rapidly, Mintel research shows that the market’s future prospects could be equally positive as, even among cider drinkers, 23% state that it does not always occur to them to drink it.
Cider achieved steady growth despite the economic downturn. Over the last five years sales of cider have increased by 32% to reach £2.7bn in 2012, up from £1.8bn in 2007 and with sales increasing 5% in the last year alone. Meanwhile volume sales have posted slower growth, although the market still managed overall growth of 18% between 2007 and 2012.
Over the next five years, Mintel forecasts that the market will reach sales of £3.7bn, driven partly by duty increases but also growing user numbers.
While apple remains the nation’s favourite flavour of cider, drunk by 47% of adults, there are striking signs of growth coming from the pear and flavoured segments.
Pear has grown to be a firm favourite amongst cider drinkers, and is drunk by almost four in ten (37%) adults, buoyed by the entry of brands such as Strongbow and Stella Cidre into the segment. Meanwhile, almost a quarter (24%) of Brits have drunk any other type of fruit-flavoured cider, with flavours in this adventurous segment ranging from cloudberry to toffee apple.
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