Cider still small beer

Cider consumption in Australia is growing at around 20 per cent a year. But it’s still small beer, so to speak, accounting for just two per cent of the total liquor market.

Australian brands continue to dominate, with over 70 per cent of the market. But imports, too, continue to grow rapidly – and any decent store or bar carries ciders from New Zealand (second to Australia), France, England and Sweden.

What was an apple cider market, with the occasional perry (or pear cider), now resembles a fruit bowl – generally a second fruit infused into a pear or cider base.

It’s turning out to be a field day for marketers as ever-inquisitive cider drinkers switch easily from one product to another. In many instances the appeal adds up to little more than sexy branding on a sweet and bland beverage. But among all the me-too concoctions is a steadily growing range of craft ciders.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 1 August 2012 in The Canberra Times