Oct 06

We are all Wurzels now

FT + Pumpkin Publog9 comments • 969 views

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).


  1. 1
    CarsmileSteve on 18 Oct 2006 #

    as long as said strongbow has blackcurrant in, obv…

  2. 2
    Tom on 18 Oct 2006 #

    The ‘heritage’ and ‘natural ingredients’ trends suggest to me that the holy grail of CAMRA should be a real ale that tastes fantastic at ‘extra cold’ temperatures.

  3. 3
    RickyT on 18 Oct 2006 #

    I think things are already heading that way. There were certainly a hell of a lot of citrusy/hoppy golden ales at the Beerfest this year, several of which would have been perfect for serving below 5C. I’d give it a couple of years at most before eg Cains or Youngs bring out a Cold Ale.

  4. 4
    CarsmileSteve on 18 Oct 2006 #

    but not that you put ice in surely?

  5. 5
    Tom on 18 Oct 2006 #

    I don’t think the ice is a must-have in the extra-cold market – I don’t see ice in your Guinness E.C.!

  6. 6
    secondhandnews on 18 Oct 2006 #

    i think with magners their trick with the ice was making it seem summery, a bit like pims, then a lot of people realised they actually liked cider

  7. 7
    CarsmileSteve on 18 Oct 2006 #

    the point of THE ALE though is that it comes on the handpull which would be v difficult to make colder unlike yr nitrokeg lager/guinness. i could imagine (in some sort of feverish nightmare) john smiths extra smooth extra cold though…

  8. 8
    RickyT on 19 Oct 2006 #

    Surely you could loop the lines through the same refrigeration units you use for nitro/CO2 driven pumps.

  9. 9
    Pete Baran on 19 Oct 2006 #

    Indeed there are some pubs which accidentally do this due to tiny / cold cellars. Had a pint in a country pub in winter and cold ale is a reality.

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