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In 2020 and continuing into 2021, COVID-19 has profoundly affected trading in the UK, with the cider market losing 16.3 %* volume in 2020, dropping to 7837.36 thousand hectolitres, according to GlobalData. However, the leading data and analytics company notes that, with restrictions being lifted and most businesses emerging from lockdown, the possibility of a successful trading year for many companies should not be ruled out, especially those heavily involved in beer and cider production.

Chloe Gbadero, Senior Beverages Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The lifting of restrictions is great news for companies such as C&C Group, a large cider producer in the UK, which saw a 56.1 %** revenue decline during 2020 due to lockdown measures and an overall downturn for the industry. In H2 2021, C&C Group, and many other companies, have potential to see volume uplifts compared to last year, now that bars and pubs have reopened. This, combined with the potential for warm and sunny weather during the summer months, will continue to encourage outdoor dining and companies would do well to take advantage of the remaining summer months to recoup sales losses during lockdown.”

In GlobalData’s most recent survey in the UK, 21 %*** of respondents demonstrated that when it comes to alcoholic beverages, including cider, fruity flavours are the most appealing. This is 4 % more than citrus flavoured alcoholic products, highlighting a gap in the market for unique flavoured fruit ciders – which producers could benefit from through innovation of products for the remainder of 2021, as usually UK consumers are not the most experimental, preferring sweet and fruity flavours over unique/novel.

Gbadero continues: “It would be interesting to see if alcohol companies will consider further promoting their pre-existing flavoured beverages or introduce new variants in order to encourage further growth. For instance, Old Mout has introduced a new watermelon and lime flavoured variant to its range, following the successful launch of its pineapple and raspberry flavor.

“After a less than favourable 2020, which has fueled long-term loss in the forecast period to 2026, there is still light at the end of the tunnel for this well-established and popular category, provided that producers continue to innovate in line with changing consumer behaviors, and collaborate with on-premise locations to promote cider consumption.”

*GlobalData’s Intelligence Centre – Quarterly Beverage Forecast
**C&C Group – Annual Report 2020
***GlobalData’s Consumer Survey – Q2 United Kingdom