Hard cider continues to trend up, rising significantly in volume and sales, while also garnering more menu placements and tap handles. In fact, cider is the fastest-growing adult beverage category in restaurants and bars, and three of the top five fastest-growing on-premise brands are ciders, according to Technomic’s recent BarTAB Report. Even with that momentum, cider remains a small category. However, its position as a unique alternative to beer, wine or spirits that is food-friendly and relevant for men and women, not to mention enjoying a ‘craft’ halo, prompts one-third of consumers to order cider at least once a month, according to BarTAB.
If you feel you’re not winning your share of that growth, consider that Technomic’s On-Premise Craft Beer & Cider study reveals these attributes can increase the likelihood of calls for hard cider:
Bottle is the preferred format for hard cider for nearly seven in 10 consumers, which is different than craft beer, where six in 10 consumers prefer draft.
High alcohol content can prompt an order from one-third of cider consumers overall and nearly half of Millennials. An interesting style of cider appeals to one-third of cider consumers; Millennials again overindex, with just over two-fifths saying so.
Local cider increases the likelihood of an order for nearly four in 10 consumers, and is consistent across age groups.
Health-related claims such as low-calorie, organic and gluten free appeal to about three in 10 cider consumers, and are of most interest to Millennials.
The year ahead promises to be as competitive as 2014, and operators who understand consumers’ preferences and the drink attributes that will prompt purchase stand to grow traffic, sales and profits.