Included in your benefits as an active member of the American Cider Association are quarterly market trend reports that break cider out into regions, packaging type, flavor, draft and more. Today we are releasing the Quarter 2 data provided through our partnership with Nielsen. Year over year comparisons for the second quarter of 2021 are not very helpful for most CPGs, because what were consumers doing in April, May and June of 2020? Stockpiling goods. Cider was no exception—according to Nielsen, retail sales of the total cider category were up 13.8% for Q2 of 2020 and regional cider brands were up a shocking 40%. So what can we say about Q2 of 2021 with the knowledge that Q2 2020 deserves an asterisk?
In Nielsen-measured retail channels:
- Regional brands of cider became the majority of cider’s market share in Q4 of 2020. That pattern persists in Q2 of 2021. These brands were only 25% of the market as recently as 2017.
- Regional cider brands are up 34.5% compared to Q2 of 2019. They are down slightly at -3.5% when compared to Q2 of 2020 which actually highlights what cider is best at: share preservation.
- Comparing YOY, regional cider brands are still positive for the trailing 52 weeks and will likely enjoy traditional Q3 seasonal growth.
- 6 packs of cans are the packaging type of choice for the moment.
- Flavors that are up for regional brands when compared to Q2 2019 include apple, pineapple, cherry, berry and sours, but the “other” flavor category is up 42% when compared to Q2 2019.
The data included in the Q2 packet compares to 2020. Keep that in mind when drawing your own conclusions. My conclusion is that cider is sustaining a big portion of the growth it saw in 2020 to preserve its share of the market. With regional cider brands comprising the majority of cider’s market share, we may start to see overall share growth in the context of the beverage alcohol segment.
Retailers who are taking cider off the shelf right now are missing a huge opportunity. Fall cider sets are a big winner—”From summer to fall of 2020, cider’s share of the beer category grew from 4.3 percent to 5.2 percent” (Drizly). I wonder what the increase is for regional cider? Probably much greater.
There is a lot of discussion of “nostalgic” flavors at the moment. This may be a chance for cider to push apple-driven products as we see brands like Seattle Cider and Bold Rock doing.
As far as the return of on-premise? When on-premise came back on board last spring, all “beer” segments experienced growth. We learned from our webinar last month that cider had the greatest YOY growth of all the “beer” sub-segments (*Q2 volume share Nielsen 12w 2021). National cider brands lead the growth, with a 751% increase for drafts sales for Q2 YOY. Apple-driven ciders experienced the most growth of all the flavor segments.
Cider won’t quit.
For more information on regional, packaging and flavor trends, get the Q2 data package included in your membership.