Hard Cider’s 'Explosive Growth'

Published in CSP Daily News

NEW YORK -- A new report from analysts at RBC Capital Markets analyzes the recent remarkable growth of hard cider. A glimpse at the report:

The Growth

While cider is still a relatively small category (about 1% of the beer industry), it has shown explosive growth, up 92% in 2012, 77% in 2013 and 87% year to date in 2014. MillerCoors' marketing vice president, David Kroll, recently estimated that cider could reach 4% to 5% of total beer.

The Gluten Connection

Is the cider boom tied to the gluten-free movement? This category ascent has, in our opinion, coincided with larger national attention paid to gluten in diets (cider is gluten free). Google searches for "gluten free" follows a nearly identical, slightly leading curve for cider's growth. (See chart below.)

The Products

Boston Beer's Angry Orchard Cider, introduced in 2012, has achieved an impressive +50% share of the Cider market. We believe a key component of its success was very clear labeling indicating that, unlike beer, it is "naturally gluten free". On a run-rate basis, Angry Orchard is less than 20% of Boston Beer's sales. This trend and growth rate have not been lost on major international competitors, which have introduced/re-branded the following products:

  • MillerCoors–Smith & Forge and Crispin
  • ABI–Stella Cidre
  • Heineken–Strongbow

The Summary

We believe the category will continue its strong growth, which should be enough for Angry Orchard continue growing even if its cedes share.

RBC Capital

Click Here to Find C-Store-Specific Cider Data

Related Topics: 
beer, packaged beverages