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Cider with rosy prospects the apple of drinkers’ eyes

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Cider, a drink once popularly associated with down-and-outs and teenage drunks, has become big business as UK drinkers have discovered that it is a perfect summer drink with ice.

Sales of cider in the UK grew 23% in 2006 to 965 million pints, including that sold in shops, bars and pubs. Irish company C&C’s Magners brand led the way, backed up by a £25m TV and print advertising campaign.

Simon Russell of the National Association of Cider Makers said: “There has been a step change in the attitudes of consumers to cider drinking.

“Cider is no longer something that you buy in a two-litre plastic bottle. Nor is it something you would be embarrassed to put on the dinner table, offer to guests or take round to the boss’s house if he was having a barbeque.”

Sales of Magners increased by 225% in 2006, the first time it had been sold in England outside of London.

Marketing director of the brand, Maurice Breen, said: “We thought we would have some success, but it’s fair to say we were surprised at the rapid speed with which consumers in the UK adopted it and have made it so popular.

“We needed to give people permission to drink cider again – for them to make it part of their drinks repertoire, and it has shaken up the beer and cider market.”



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