Stella Artois Cidre set to usurp Magners

Stella Artois Cidre is poised to usurp Magners as the fourth biggest cider brand in the UK just two years after launch if sales continue to climb at the rate they have over the past year. 

Stella Artois Cidre continue to outpace the rest of the cider market.

The AB InBev-owned cider brand saw retail sales leap 24.5 per cent year-on-year to £67.9m in the 52 weeks to 22 June, according to IRI Worldwide. Volume (the number of litres sold) jumped 23.8 per cent to 33.7 million over the same period.

In comparison, sales of Magners sunk 11.4 per cent to £69.9m during the last 12 months as the volume sold fell to 29.6 million. If the two continue on the same trajectory, Stella Artois will be worth £73.5m by the end of the month and overtake Magners, which would hit £64.05m. It would see Stella Artois Cidre become the fourth biggest cider brand in the UK by sales, behind Strongbow, Bulmers and Kopparberg. 

AB InBev will be hoping the recent good weather can accelerate its ascent with the brewer launching a flurry of tactical campaigns to boost awareness. It is partnering with Tesco and Ice Co Company to create one million branded ice bags and is also running a series of weather-controlled ads. For its part, Magners is re-running its “Now is a good time’ adverts, first unveiled in April, alongside activity on its Facebook and Twitter profiles to capitalise on the sun.

Both brewers have opted against increasing in-store promotions on multi-packs over the last 12 months, however, in an effort to expand margins and foster a more premium positioning for the category. Stella cut the volume of deals it runs on multiple packs by 4 per cent to 75 per cent for the 52 weeks to 22 June, while Magners remained at 77 per cent for the same period, according to IRI data.

C&C’s star brand has been in steady freefall over the last 18 months as growing competition from brewers extending their brands into cider is stifling demand. Despite the decline, the cider brewer has vowed to spur demand by launching new variants next year.

Rebecca Jones, account manager for the alcohol sector at IRI Worldwide, says: ”The Magners decline is coming from distribution losses – most likely with retailers cutting back space in order to open up on all the new NPDs that are coming through. Also, flavoured cider is the favourite thing in cider at the moment and Magners haven’t really done much over the past couple of years to keep up with this trend which would explain why Kopparberg & Rekorderlig have been doing so well – they keep bringing out new flavours.”

Across the industry, shop and supermarket sales of cider rose 4.4 per cent to £929.1m and volumes increase d 0.3 per cent to £469.7m, IRI says.

UK Cider sales data (52 weeks to 23 June): source IRI Worldwide

  Value Sales    
  52 w/e 23 Jun, 12 52 w/e 22 Jun, 13 % CHANGE
Cider £890,091,776 £929,051,840 4.4
Strongbow £251,086,163 £251,450,521 0.1
Bulmers £75,386,491 £79,000,994 4.8
Kopparberg £59,496,900 £74,077,899 24.5
Magners £78,818,631 £69,870,275 -11.4
Stella Artois £54,523,260 £67,859,568 24.5
Frosty Jacks £50,298,600 £54,263,180 7.9
Westons £21,804,515 £25,018,252 14.7
  Volume Sales (litres)    
  52 w/e 23 Jun, 12 52 w/e 22 Jun, 13 % CHANGE
Strongbow 146,205,755 141,691,445 -3.1
Bulmers 30,144,452 30,704,199 1.9
Kopparberg 17,112,579 21,125,421 23.4
Magners 32,272,142 29,607,381 -8.3
Stella Artois 23,716,409 29,362,437 23.8
Frosty Jacks 38,619,064 39,114,124 1.3
Westons 7,169,738 7,971,374 11.2
Scrumpy Jack 10,227,241 10,482,073 2.5
Rekorderlig 2,789,712 5,719,579 105.0

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