Fruit Cider – More than Just Flavour of the Month!

Share this:

Glass of fruit flavoured cider served with burger

Summer is the time of year when consumers look for lighter beverages.  For many, a long cool drink of fruit flavoured cider fits the bill perfectly, with a recent poll by Harris Interactive of over 600 cider drinkers finding two thirds considering it to be refreshing with a good taste.

No Longer the ‘Out-Cider’

Although a relatively new concept, fruit flavoured cider now equates to one third of total sales in the cider category according to the recent Weston’s Cider Report.  Since 2006 it has experienced growth of over 330% and is widely tipped to make up almost 50% of the market by 2023 as its popularity goes from strength to strength.

Its strongest performance is within the on-trade where it accounts for 36% of total cider sales, estimated to be worth £715 million annually.  It also boasts the highest level of growth in the off-trade (11%) compared to its more traditional counterparts.  This is in stark contrast to the fortunes of apple cider, which although continues to hold the largest market share (67%) experienced declining sales last year, both in terms of value (-1.6%) and volume (-3.7%) with pear cider falling behind with just a 6% market share.

What’s so A-Peel-ing about Flavoured Cider?

Equally popular with both males and females, the sweeter taste of fruit ciders have boosted the cider category by acting as an introduction to new previously non-cider drinking consumers.  90% of all fruit ciders in the UK are flavoured with berries or dark fruits with Strongbow Dark Fruit taking the crown as the most-consumed draught cider of 2018, whilst Koppaberg’s Strawberry and Lime flavoured cider proved to be the number one bottled variant in the on-trade.  

Continued Innovation is at the ‘Core’ of Success

Growth has been fuelled by continued flavour innovations within the category appealing to consumers tired of traditional options who are becoming more adventurous, experimenting with new flavours and taste sensations.  Continued new product development is therefore vital to maintain consumer excitement, as what may appear to be a new and fresh concept upon launch can quickly become tired and outdated in such a competitive market place.  At Simpsons our New Product Development Team are industry leaders in flavour innovation.  Read more here.


There’s no denying that the rich tones of fruit flavoured cider make it much more photogenic than its non-flavoured relatives appealing to millennials who just love to share pictures of themselves and their drinks.  The poll by Harris Interactive found that a massive 43% of 18 to 24 year olds considered flavoured cider to be a cool option.

Low and No Alcohol Options

The current trend for mindful drinking has seen a significant increase in demand for no and low-alcohol alternatives as consumers are increasingly opting to follow healthier lifestyles, something that is particularly prevalent amongst the younger generation.  According to ‘The Grocer’ this has resulted in a 20% increase in sales of low and no-alcohol variants within the cider category such as Old Mount’s 0% ABV Berries and Cherry Cider, launched in April last year.  Read more about The Rise of the Mindful Drinker in our blog.

Lighter Sugar Free Options

Sugar currently tops the list of nutritional concerns amongst consumers with 47% actively working to minimise their sugar intake (Mintel 2018 ),  Koppaberg were inspired to launch a low calorie, ‘light’ alternative with just 83 calories per 250ml serve.  As more consumers are becoming increasingly health conscious it is vital that cider manufacturers embrace current trends with the introduction of new, innovative product variants to satisfy demand.

Creative Marketing

Full marks go to the brand leaders who have implemented some fabulous marketing initiatives.  The Koppaberg limited edition keg has been on sale over the summer period for the last 3 years, and was launched specifically with young party and festival goers in mind.  Magners Dark Fruit Cider, on the other hand, entered into a partnership with festival operator Global to introduce branded Cider Gardens at multiple festivals across the summer, something that has proved to be extremely popular.  Strongbow Dark Fruits went all out, choosing to sponsor three music festivals and is working on a pilot TV show on MTV and with social media entertainment company LadBible to produce its first above the line campaign.

A New Flavour Experience

At Simpsons our team have developed a range of flavoured syrup shots to be added to be added to draught cider at the point of serve.  Ideal for festivals and large events where speed is critical and costs need to be controlled.  This concept enables vendors the opportunity to differentiate and add value with the opportunity to offer a diverse flavour range to cider lovers.  Popular flavours include Rhubarb, Strawberry & Kiwi, Mango, Dark Fruits, with bespoke flavours available on request.  Contact us for more information or to request samples.    

A More Natural Future?

Currently the flavoured cider market is dominated by fruit flavoured brands containing a minimal amount of fruit but large quantities of additives and sugar, Koppaberg’s Strawberry and Lime flavour for instance has a whopping 13 grams - (over 13 teaspoons!!!!).  However, consumers, inparticular millennials and the upcoming Generation Z, increasingly want to know exactly what their drinks are made from and more than ever before are prepared to spend more on products made from natural ingredients.  This led ODC to recently launch Pomegranate Panache and Mango Fandango ciders made with natural flavours and high quality fruit, specifically designed to appeal to the younger drinker.

Simpsons are Experts in Flavour Innovation

There’s certainly no denying that fruit-flavour once considered to be a fashionable fad, is certainly here to stay.  If you are thinking about adding some excitement to your cider brand with some new innovative flavours get in touch with our team today.



Leave a reply...

There are no comments yet. Be the first one:

Stay in touch with Simpsons