While the overall beer category has seen a difficult year thus far, Cider continues to significantly outpace beer on the strength of Angry Orchard, Strongbow, and Stella Artois Cidre:
- According to GuestMetric's research, the overall beer category has had a challenging year in 2013. Year-to-date through early November compared to the prior year, beer volumes are down 3.7 percent in on-premise, underperforming the wine and spirits categories. However, cider continues to display exceptional strength, with volumes up 53 percent YTD and 52 percent during 3Q (more modest than the triple digit growth seen in off-premise, due to the higher penetration cider has in on-premise).
- Despite the tremendous strength of cider in 2013, it’s important to keep in mind how small the segment is relative to the rest of beer, at around 1 percent of the total beer category volumes. However, looking at the various on-premise segments in terms of distribution, 70 percent of bars/clubs sell hard cider, while only 47 percent of casual dining and 24 percent of fine dining restaurants carry any cider brands. The lower penetration among restaurants could represent a significant opportunity in terms of future growth in cider.
- While we track about 240 cider brands in the on-premise space, the Angry Orchard brand family, Strongbow, and Stella Artois Cidre together now account for 45 percent of total cider volumes (up from 17 percent in the prior year)…and drove over 99 percent of the volume growth in the cider segment. Said differently, while the combination of the Angry Orchard brand family, Strongbow, and Stella Artois Cidre saw volumes grow 317 percent year-to-date, the remaining 230 or so cider brands have only grown volumes 0.3 percent compared to the prior year.
- One thing that will be interesting to track closely is HUSA’s strategy of pricing Strongbow as an upscale cider priced above the rest of the segment, particularly in an environment where the broad consumer base remains under significant economic pressure and traffic to bars/clubs has been disproportionately suffering in 2013.