Cider, The Secret Weapon Of Cider Against Beer Hegemony

2021-01-28   |   by CusiGO

It’s a traditional drink, but mainly outside the Asturias and Basque areas, which are key communities for apple tree consumption and production, where apple trees replace vines due to the cold and lack of sunlight. Although wine is going through its golden age, despite the decline in consumption in this crisis, cider still seems to lack a charming color, making it the drink of choice for Spaniards, just like the British, Irish or German.

The most famous cider is natural (fermented) and gasified. According to Nielsen, the former’s consumption is mainly concentrated on the windowsill of Cantabria, accounting for about 52%, mainly in the catering industry; the latter is dedicated to celebration and Christmas, accounting for 45%, mainly in Andalusia, Madrid and Valencia.

Territorial and seasonal conditions favor slow market growth, coupled with a health crisis and declining consumption. Miguel Hevia, Secretary of the Spanish cider Association (AESI), said: “by 2020, due to the closure of bars and restaurants, the number has dropped by about 20%”. This is also reflected in Asturias cider with a protected name of origin (PDO), which covers natural cider, filtered natural cider and sparkling Cider (unlike gasified cider, because natural gas is natural gas rather than added), with consumption increasing from 4.8 million bottles in 2019 to 3.1 million bottles in 2020. “86% of sales come from the hotel industry, and the crisis has passed the bills to us,” admits Daniel Ruiz, the face value manager.

Nevertheless, Spain is the fifth largest producer in the world, second only to Ireland or Germany, and a major consumer. According to the European food safety agency, Spain produced 80 million liters of cider last year, excluding those produced in the Basque region. Sixty million of them were made in Asturias. These figures mean that the industry’s turnover is about 100 million euros.

In Asturias, cider remains an important product, although sales have declined. “We’ll notice that on the bill. 40% of people work in hotels and have been closed for months,” explains Raul riestra, manager of riestra’s apple store. “2020 is full of uncertainty. The decline in restaurant sales has been partly affected by the rise in food prices. ” Christmas also exceeded growth expectations, despite the star, classic sparkling wine, maintaining an 80% sales share in terms of distribution. For the producers of El gaitro, Valle, Ballina and fern á ndez, El gaitro is the first inflatable cider brand with a 70% market share, Sales will be stable in 2020. “We want the same bill as last year, about 18.1 million euros,” said general manager Ricardo Cabeza. This is a case of approval for mayador, the second brand of aerated cider. “Christmas is not so happy. Classic products of this period have reduced their production by 6% or 7%; for us, it’s a benchmark of 70% of sales. ”

In addition to Asturias, Basque countries are also concerned about current and future uncertainties. Euskal sagardoa, the trademark of the name of origin of Basque natural cider, announced a loss of 15 million euros due to the closure of hotels and the so-called txot winery, which is open to the public.

The industry believes that online sales are likely to recover, although it’s still uncertain. “We have been in the online store for five years, but the growth is very slow and the sales are not high,” riestra explained. Kabeza said the piper thought “it’s needed now more than ever.”.

Looking for new niche markets to make this drink “active” is an open question. The first company to open the door to innovation is Rivera’s sons Corporation (Estrella Galicia), whose subsidiary custom drinks owns the maeloc brand, which produced 2 million liters in 2020 and sold 65% in food stores. Galicia restores the tradition of cider and opens the market for pears or other new flavors. Blackberry; also organic or sweet cider.

Now, with the advent of the so-called cider, a soft drink made from apple juice and other fruits with bubbles and low alcohol content (in Spain, cider can only be called if it is made from 100% fermented apple juice), the field seems to be getting active. “Cider opens the door to consumers who don’t like wine or beer and lack choice,” said Ignacio martitegui, an expert at Nielsen. According to the consulting firm, this segment accounts for 42% of Apple’s market in 2019, rising to 45% in 2020. Hypermarkets and supermarkets account for 94% of sales.

These numbers won’t make anyone indifferent. According to a report by global data, multinational breweries are not betting on this benchmark, rather than on the stability of breweries, due to the growth of the global cider market. But they never chose to buy the traditional apple. What is the reason? “The price of cider may be a stumbling block (about 2.50 euro per 0.70 liter bottle), so they don’t see the product as a company, but rather as their own brand,” Hevia reflected.

The first appearance of cider was the apple thief in Heineken’s hands in 2017. The product has completely changed the industry, and today it has become a leading brand with 67% of sales. The last one is banned by Mahou San Miguel, which, according to martitegu, “will drive the industry.”. Benet fit é, the company’s director of quality, R & D and environment, explained: “this is a delayed launch due to a pandemic, which means that breweries will enter a category different from beer or mineral water and have their own products.”.

Distribution and white brands are also looking for gaps. Mercadonna launched cider wild panther in July, which is produced in Spain by font Salem and currently sold in more than 1600 stores. Traditional cider producers have shaken their foundations and joined the business. “If we know how to use cider, cider will be the driving force of the enterprise. “The entry of breweries will change people’s consumption habits and promote cider in areas where there is little consumption of cider,” said mayador’s chief executive. Piper or riestra will also launch new references this year.