CGA by Nielsen IQ's on premise measurement service shows cider sales totalled €216 million in the 12 months to the end of July, making it the third largest long alcoholic drinks (LAD) category in Ireland.
While many LAD consumers in Ireland have chosen stout since the end of COVID-19 restrictions, cider has lost only 0.6 percentage points of market share to it over the last three years. This makes it more resilient than either lager or ale, which have seen 2.0 and 1.4 percentage points of their sales slip away to stout.
Cider's robustness was clear over the summer, when warm weather usually helps brands to attract more drinkers. The category has taken a 9.8% share of the LAD market in the last 12 months, but this split rose to 11.2% over the last three months.
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As the temperatures drop, the big challenge for suppliers and operators is to work out how to retain these additional cider drinkers, and doing so demands an appreciation of how and where they are engaging with the category, according to CGA. For example, CGA data shows a strong preference for bottled and canned cider, with 65.7% of cider sales coming from packaged serves and just 34.3% from draught - a much lower share than in other LAD categories. The OPM research also indicates that bars overtook pubs in market share terms over the last quarter, and that Cork, where cider took 14.1% of all LAD sales between May and July, is a hotspot for the category.
CGA's On Premise User Survey (OPUS), meanwhile, reveals the big motivations of cider drinkers, and the high importance of branding in particular. 39% of consumers say they always choose their favourite brand when they drink cider, while other top factors include value for money (31%) and quality (29%). Cider drinkers also tend to be loyal, with 45% of them buying it every or almost every time they visit a pub or bar.
Statement By Senior Client Manager For Ireland At CGA By Nielsen IQ
Senior client manager for Ireland at CGA by Nielsen IQ Darren Bradley stated, "While cider always comes to the fore over the summer, there's untapped potential for suppliers and operators to build on the momentum over the autumn.
"With smart brand positioning and focused promotional strategies, especially in the bottled and canned segments, cider can keep its fair-weather drinkers all year round. As the cost of living crisis mounts, it will be particularly important to emphasise value as well as quality."
© 2022 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.