Magners owner claims UK cider sales have bottomed out

Brewers extending their brands into cider have been delivered sobering news by one of the category’s major players, Magners owner C&C Group, which claims that UK cider sales have bottomed out.

Brewer paints gloomy outlook for the sector after sales Magners drop for the first time in a decade.

The brewer yesterday (15 May) cited CGA/Nielsen figures to reveal cider sales in the UK had slumped 15 per cent for the year to 28 February. The decline dented revenues for its flagship Magners brand, which plummeted 13.9 per cent in the same period.

Stephen Glancey, C&C Group chief executive, says poor weather and growing competition meant it has not been an “easy year” for the company’s core cider brand but vowed to spur demand by increasing marketing spend and new product development. The business is to ramp up innovation across its Magners, Bulmers and Gaymers brands.

News of a declining cider market will be noted by brewers such as Carlsberg and AB Inbev, which with the launch of Somersby and Stella Artois Cidre respectively, have entered the cider market in recent years to offset declining beer sales.

The CGA/Nielsen data is in contrast to the healthy picture of the cider category painted by Mintel figures earlier this year. The market research group found more than half (60 per cent) of drinkers now drink cider.

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