“We see the next big thing being hop cider, especially cider containing hop extracts,” said Katharina Berge, product manager for alcoholic beverages at German firm Döhler.
“Since cider is often made by brewers, there are obvious synergies here. We believe that wine-inspired ciders will grow, too. It is about colour as well as flavour.”
According to Mintel, a decade of growth in the UK cider market ended in 2014, when volume sales fell. A steeper decline in volume sales occurred in 2015, before the first dip in value sales last year.
This suggested that brand-owners would be especially keen to tap into new trends to fuel fresh growth in the category.
Tap into new trends
Typically, the strength of ciders stays the same in hop- or wine-flavoured versions – around 4.5°or 5° – Berge said.
“But non-alcoholic versions will grow, too. We have great technologies to bring a non-alcoholic twist to drinks using non-alcoholic fermented signature components.”
The trend towards hop and wine flavours has already taken off in markets such as Scandinavia, South Africa and North America, said Döhler.
But Berge admitted that much current marketing in the UK emphasised provenance, authenticity and – increasingly – organic ingredients.
Döhler pointed out that hop and wine ciders could be developed using flavourings as well as extracts and concentrates. The company has also invested in organic and non-organic cider bases.