Channel: Independents

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Hard Cider’s 'Explosive Growth'

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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
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