Cider’s Surge: Angry Orchard Takes Category To New Level, As Brewing Bigs Play Catch-Up
Cider, which has long taken a backseat to beer and RTDs in the U.S. market, is in the midst of a growth surge. Buttressed by the popularity of craft beer and Millennials’ attraction to new flavor-driven options, cider sales skyrocketed by 78% to 15.7 million (2.25-gallon) cases in 2013, according to Impact Databank. Cider’s domestic production trend mirrors this burgeoning growth. In Washington and New York, the two largest apple-producing states, there has been a sizable uptick in cideries, with Washington’s current count at 25, up from eight in 2012, and New York’s now at 29, up from five in 2011.
Boston Beer Co.’s Angry Orchard has been the primary force driving expansion in the cider segment since its launch in 2011. The brand has already captured 51% of the total U.S. cider market, reaching 8 million cases in 2013 and far eclipsing category stalwarts like Woodchuck and Strongbow. David Sipes, Angry Orchard’s cider maker, says the brand is drawing a diverse consumer audience. “Cider drinkers are a lot like craft beer fans; but we’ve found that cider appeals to both men and women equally—whereas beer typically skews 80% male—and most drinkers are under 40.”
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