The company has just submitted a planning application for its Myrtle Farm, Somerset site, which, if given consent, would see a new state-of-the-art mill installed in 2019.
Thatchers said it regularly invested on average £10m a year into its cidermaking at Myrtle Farm – from new orchards through to bottling and canning.
Over the last five years it has planted 150,000 new apple trees. It added that it expected a record number of apples to make their way through the presses at Myrtle Farm this autumn.
Thatchers noted that apple cider took the largest share of the off-trade cider category at 67% (data: IRI 52w/e 18 August 2018), and draught apple cider accounted for the largest share of the on-trade draught cider category at 73% (data: CGA 52 w/e 14 July 2018).
“This investment is about our confidence in the cider market and in the future of world-class cidermaking here at Myrtle Farm,” said Martin Thatcher.
“Our aim has always been to produce fantastic ciders at Thatchers that are best-in-class on both quality and consistency. Our existing mill has served us well for many years, but we’re now looking to increase our capacity to meet growing demand.
“The new mill will be located at Myrtle Farm, will use less energy and will be sustainably powered by energy generated on site.”
He said there was a raft of innovation and variety within the apple cider category, and it would be looking to create “new and exciting ciders”.
“Apple is so versatile that, through innovation, we can meet all taste profiles from dry through to medium and sweet, with this one traditional fruit,” he added.