Boston Beer (Angry Orchard) continues to attack the market aggressively, pushing its product onto shelves. It introduced Angry Orchard in 2011, offering three styles: Crisp Apple, Apple Ginger and Traditional Dry. This growth is expected to continue, increasing volumes by another 65% in 2013. This makes Angry Orchard the fastest growing brand in the market.
Vermont Hard Cider Co owns the leading brand family, Woodchuck. Woodchuck led the US market with $38.6m in sales in 2012. This was a 40% increase over 2011 sales and is expected to grow 5% in 2013. In late 2012, C&C Group acquired Vermont Hard Cider.
Hornsby’s, owned by C&C Group, is the number three brand in the market. Its line includes Hard Crisp Cider, Hard Strawberry Lime and Hard Amber Cider. Hornsby’s, which has been one of the top three brands for the past few years, experienced a 9% decline across its product range in 2012 compared to 2011 due to confusion over pack types (a switch to 33cl bottles) and a previous lack of producer focus. The brand’s long-term decline is expected to be reversed in 2013 when the effects of the acquisition by C&C Group are more clearly seen.
Historically, six-packs have been the most popular multipack, but some producers are moving to four-packs as these provide distributors with a lower price point (per multipack) and higher profit margins.
The movement towards 33cl nref glass bottles, led by Hornsby’s, failed to catch on, as consumers rejected the notion of a smaller bottle for the same price. This led to a sharp decline in the pack size in 2012, albeit from a low base.
Hornsby’s gave the global brand design agency Blue Marlin creative freedom to overhaul the brand’s packaging. Aiming to preserve the brand essence while attracting new consumers, Blue Marlin gave Hornsby’s a bold new identity with the use of the phrase ‘The Outcider’.
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