Roy Morgan Research has shed light on which cider brands Australians will be looking for over the summer months.
Between 2006 and 2016, the number of Australian adults who drink cider in an average four weeks jumped by almost 600 percent from 337,000 to 2,349,000. The only other alcoholic beverage to have gained popularity over the same period was spirits, which saw a more moderate growth of 25 percent (admittedly, at a larger scale, rising from 3,890,000 to 4,861,000 drinkers per four weeks).
Unsurprisingly, cider is most frequently consumed during the summer months. Between January and March 2016, nearly 3 million people (2,880,000) reported having consumed cider at least once in the last four weeks, compared with 2,250,000 in the quarter preceding it (October-December 2015) and 2,220,000 in the quarter following it (April-June 2016).
Norman Morris, industry communications director, Roy Morgan Research, said “Since we first revealed cider’s popularity boom in the wake of the government’s increased tax on ‘alcopops’ (premixed spirits), its upward trajectory has been nothing short of remarkable. The number of Aussie adults drinking cider in an average four weeks has now well and truly surpassed those drinking alcopops in the same period (2,025,000) and shows no sign of plateauing. In fact, with summer upon us, Roy Morgan data shows that cider consumption is on the verge of its annual spike.”
Battle of the brands
Approximately 724,000 Australian adults drink cider in an average four weeks (up from 460,000 in 2015).
The most popular brand is Somersby cider, leading the field by a long shot, and overtaking last year’s most popular cider brand, 5 Seeds (512,000, up from 506,000).
5 Seeds was also overtaken by Strongbow (538,000), which has bounced back from a slump of several years. Rekorderlig (332,000) and Bulmers (282,000) complete the top five, although both of these brands lost consumers over the last 12 months (Rekorderlig is down from 435,000 drinkers per four week period, and Bulmers declined from 312,000).
Missing from the list of most loved brands is Australia's best cider, as named by the Australian Cider Awards. In October, Tasmania's Willie Smith’s Organic Cider was the awards' top place getter for the second consecutive year.
Earlier this year, Willie Smith's co-owner, Sam Reid, told Hospitality that the more people enjoy good quality cider on-premise, the more they'll invest in them off-premise.
“It’s my belief that on-premise leads the off-premise. Experiencing drinks in the on-premise first gets people moving towards them in the off-premise,” said Reid.
“My thoughts are that restaurants have been a bit slower to catch on to good quality cider – they tend to focus more on their wine lists. But we’re starting to see that pubs are making sure they have good quality craft cider in their range, so I think that will filter into restaurants as well.”