New Item Coding for UPCs with NIQ

We want to make sure your cider is accounted for in national sales data. It’s important every cider is included so we can have an accurate picture of the cider industry and collect data that you can use when pitching your ciders to wholesalers and retailers around the country.

Please find below detailed instructions for how to submit new products to NIQ (formerly Nielsen).

To get NEW UPCs added:

  1. Fill out the NPC 2023 Form.
  2. Send both the form and correct photos (see below for photo guidelines) to Mary Mills at 3 Tier Beverages and she and her team will make sure everything is good to go for NIQ. She recommends uploading images to a shared drive (Dropbox or Google Drive) in order to preserve image quality.

Photo Guidelines:

Below is an in-depth photo guideline to follow when submitting photos to NIQ to get new UPCs coded or current ones updated.

Nielsen accepts 2 types of photos:

  • 3D: Photos of the real 3D item.
  • Flat: 2D photos of the label/box.

Nielsen is VERY PARTICULAR about the photos needed so below are the guidelines to follow. The images needed are described below, flat photos are best if you have them. If not, please send images of the actual item. For either type of photos you choose to submit, Nielsen requires photos of:

  • Clear images of all 6 sides, including top & bottom of the individual product
  • Clear images of all 6 sides, including top & bottom of the packs (2/4/6/12pk/etc) are needed if they are not sold individually
  • Make sure photos are in jpeg format or else they will NOT be accepted
  • They need to be clear, have a neutral background, and high resolution so no blurring when zoomed in
  • Professional photos are not required

Click here to view photo examples for both 3-D and Flat.

Have questions? Email our NIQ contact Ryan Sisto.

New Benefits and Webinar with 3 Tier Beverages

The American Cider Association is dedicated to providing our members with valuable data they need to pitch retailers, investors and distributors. We are thrilled to announce an expansion of our data benefits through our new partnership with 3 Tier Beverages. The new dashboards will give the user more control over how you view the Nielsen data, offer you options for more comparisons, and provide insights on more regional markets—we’re excited to share that the dashboards will now include data for 50 markets! We’re finalizing the customization of the dashboards with 3 Tier, but they will be available to all ACA members very soon. This is just one area we are expanding our data benefits, and we hope you join the webinar to learn more about the 3 Tier custom dashboards for ACA members. Learn more about the webinar below.

3 Tier Beverages, in partnership with NielsenIQ, is proud to be the official data supplier of the American Cider Association. Part of this partnership brings ACA members quarterly dashboards with key market data and insights to help you drive your business forward. This webinar will walk ACA members through these dashboards so you can make the most of this unique offering. This webinar is for active ACA members only.

About Our Speakers

Mary Mills joined 3 Tier Beverages in 2022 from NielsenIQ, where she spent 14 years across client management, business development, and innovation insights. She has experience working with various clients in the food, beverage, and consumer goods industries, with 9 years focused on alcohol specifically. She holds a Marketing degree from The Ohio State University and is an avid Buckeye fan. She resides in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Andy and two children, Luke (4 years old) and Ava (2 years old).

Joe Sepka began his career in the CPG industry a little over a decade ago with PepsiCo as a contract pricing analyst for raw ingredients. Over the next few years, he grew into a variety of data-intensive roles. In 2018 however Joe was ready for a change and made the decision to leave PepsiCo for a new role at Revolution Brewing managing the data department. This was where he discovered he had a particular passion and love for the Bev-Alc side of the CPG industry. In 2020, Joe made the decision to leave Revolution to help launch 3 Tier Beverages. Each day he leverages my passion for data to assist their clients to find new opportunities in their respective Bev-Alc spaces, and help “level the playing field” when competing for space against the big guys.

In addition to being data-obsessed, Joe enjoys hikes, playing chess, recording music, and above all spending time with his wife Rosy, son Arthur, and (sometimes) grumpy but loveable dog Albus.

New On Premise Data Reports from CGA

CGA has taken a deeper look at consumers’ recent behavior when it comes to On Premise beverage purchases. They shared these highlights of their recent research: 

  • On Premise visitation remains relatively static
  • 33% are spending more per visit to a bar or restaurant vs. 18% spending less than they were three months ago – price increases have driven the increased spend
  • Two in five expect to have to cut back on their future On Premise visits due to cost of living increases

 It’s clear that inflation and lingering impacts of the pandemic are having an effect, but the good news is that 9% of bar and restaurant consumers reported cider as their beverage of choice in the last 3 months. Learn more with these reports from our partners at CGA.

Webinar: BeerBoard’s Hard Cider Trends

BeerBoard’s Hard Cider Trends Webinar February 22, 2022

Join Dillon Card and Jim Randall from BeerBoard for the newest on-premise insights for cider with national and regional breakdowns, including competitive style and product performance data. This webinar will take place Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 12:00pm Pacific on Zoom. Zoom link will be provided the day before the webinar.

This webinar is for active ACA members only. Join now or renew your membership!

Q2 Nielsen Reports Ready For Download

One of the perks of combining our buying power as an association is that we can share valuable insights from Nielsen with you, our members.

You can now download our custom Q2 reports. In this data packet you will be able to access:

  • Off-Premise Micro-Reports broken down for packaging type, flavor, and region–14 states and 6 regional outlooks. Available in both a 12-week and a 52-week outlook.
  • Off-Premise Macro-Reports for Beer, FMBs and Cider. Available in both a 12-week and a 52-week outlook.
  • On-Premise Reports for 6 metro markets.
  • Nielsen PPT slide decks with charts, data visualization and insights on the cider category’s recent performance in both On- and Off-Premise.
  • Bonus this quarter: Hard Seltzer off-premise report.

Here is an excerpt from a recent Nielsen survey about current overall consumer sentiment:


“Here are some high-level findings from a Nielsen survey of 18K+ consumers, fielded July 1-8, 2020.

  • Since June, we have started to see some consistent trends not only for off premise alcohol, but also across many consumer good categories. That comes to life in consumer sentiment as well. 60% of households expect their routines to remain altered for at least the next 4 months
  • Nielsen has shared insights in the past in several forms about how premiumization within off premise alcohol isn’t slowing down, and has in fact accelerated during COVID weeks. However, when it comes to total consumer goods, we are starting to see more cautious consumer sentiment in relation to spending. Approximately 4 in 10 (42%) of households say they are watching what they spend as a result of COVID.
  • The homebody economy continues. When asked what % of time households eat meals or snacks at home versus outside of home, 39% of households said they ate 100% of their meals and snacks at home. An equal amount (39%) said they ate outside of their home only 10% of the time. As a comparison, when asked what their habits were prior to COVID, only 12% said they ate all of their meals at home.
  • When asked what their plans are for the coming months, close to 1 in 3 households (28%) said they plan to eat all of their meals at home. That of course was lower for younger consumers age 21-34, and much higher for consumers age 65+.
  • What about consumer plans if economic conditions get worse (recession and/or inflation)? When asked about things they would do to save money when shopping for beer or wine, 39% said they won’t change how they shop for it. However, nearly ¼ said they would buy less. That’s a slightly different story for households with lower income (<$30K), which said they would be more likely to stop buying it all together.”

The Cider Rebound: Now, Let’s Keep It Going!

A recap of Nielsen’s keynote presentation at CiderCon 2019 in Chicago.

For the last three years we’ve been honored to have our partners at Nielsen present on the state of the cider industry during CiderCon’s opening session. They offer many of our members individual services, but we work with Nielsen to bring our members broad analysis that can help you with business pursuits and decisions. We are grateful for our partnership with Nielsen, and we hope that you will make sure you’ve sent them your labels and UPCs to enhance the value of this partnership.

We wanted to give you a quick recap of the points they delivered a week ago today. You can download their slides here: Nielsen Pres’n at CiderCon 2019_2-7-2019.

  • Total off-premise (aka retail) sales were up 8.4% for the cider category in 2018.
  • The category did over $500 million in off-premise sales last year.
  • Cider retail sales dollars are 10x bigger today than 10 years ago.
  • 40% of cider drinkers are between the ages of 21 and 29.
  • Cider is the most gender balanced alcohol category, with 51% of drinkers being male and 49% of drinkers being female.
  • Cider grew faster than beer, wine or spirits last year. Cider was edged out by Flavored Malt Beverage (FMB) growth, however.
  • Cider is growing, but is still less that 1% of alcoholic beverage market share.
  • The National Beer Wholesaler Association’s “Beer Purchasing Index” survey shows cider is an expanding segment with respect to distributor purchasing orders.
  • Cider conversations online grew 11%–more than craft beer and alcoholic beverage category as a whole.
  • Cider’s growth was led by nationally distributed rosé ciders (chiefly Angry Orchard and Crispin) and by regional/local brands.
  • All 5 of American Cider Association’s geographical regions experienced positive growth in cider sales for 2018 (off-premise).
  • Regional and local cider retail sales increased 23% in 2018 (local craft beer increased 9.3% in 2018).
  • 23 brands exceed the $1MM retail sales mark AND had double digit gains in 2018.
  • Regional/local cider is now 1/3 of cider retail sales.
  • Off the top 25 cider brands, 17 of them are regional or local brands.
  • Cider’s total sales rely more heavily on on-premise sales that the other sectors, which are all about 50/50 on/off-premise.
  • On-Premise retail sales were down across the board for cider: draft/packaged, national/regional.
  • Some growth was seen for citrus, stone fruit and fruit-combo flavored ciders.
  • Cider sales are 4.5X larger than FMB sales in on-premise
  • Cider drinkers visit on-premise establishments more often than beer drinkers, and cider drinkers spend more money.
  • Nearly a quarter of cocktail drinkers age 21-34 report drinking cider cocktails.
  • Cider share of Beer/FMB/Cider today (Off plus On Premise) is 1.6%today (dollars)

Nielsen closed with this challenge: What If Cider’s Share of Beer in U.S. increases by 1 point? U.S. Cider sales would increase +65%, (over $800MM more than today).

Contact speaker Danny Brager ( with your questions or to submit your labels for their database.

As a American Cider Association membership benefit, detailed Q1-Q3 on- and off-premise reports are available for just $50 per quarter. Contact if you’d like to purchase any of these today. Q4 will be available shortly, to be followed by our annual report on the cider market.