There was an interesting article in this week’s Marketing Week about cider, which is undergoing something of a boom. Actually the article wasn’t especially interesting for what it said about cider itself (other than to point out that the ‘cider revival’ had got going before Magners got in on the act). It’s more the idea that cider as a product was in the right place and the right time to capitalise on underlying booze trends, which the article summarises thus:

– younger drinkers liking products with a level of authenticity and heritage, i.e. Jack Daniels, proper cocktails, posh vodka rather than alcopops (the markets for alcopops and cider apparently run in more or less opposite directions)

– general trend in the food and drink sector towards health, natural ingredients etc. – Cider has a key natural ingredient which everybody can understand and most of the producers get it from a single source. (Also as Pete reported last month it’s now a “superfood”)

– general trend towards drinking alcohol cold – “Finally,” says one US-owned cider producer, “we no longer like warm beer”. Magners with its over-ice positioning is reaping the benefits here.

Some of this is possibly post-facto rationalisation on behalf of the marketing community, or simply wishful thinking: all marketers ever love the idea of ‘authenticity’ and hope it will make a comeback, just like record company bosses and A&R people generally talk in interviews about ‘real talent’ &c. (both these things are also a hell of a lot easier to market). But I still think these are interesting points for those with an eye on the booze marketplace.

(Unmentioned in the article is the rise of emo, which as a cousin to goth may well be fuelling cider demand – the singer of My Chemical Romance looks to me no stranger to the strongbow).