UK thirst for cider up as beverage breaks £1bn mark

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Annual cider sales in the UK have crossed the £1 billion mark for the first time since 2014.

The upsurge in sales is attributed to the warn start of the summer, driving consumers towards the popular apple alcohol.

Sales of cider rose 5.5% year-on-year to just over £1.0 billion during the 12 months ending 15 July 2017, according to measurement company Nielsen.

The data is based on till sales from 20,000 shops in the UK.

However, sales between the middle of May and middle of July, alone, increased 16% year-on-year.

Statistics from the Met Office showed this May was the second warmest since records began in 1910, while June’s was the best for a number of years.

Helen Stares, a Nielsen expert on the liquor industry, said: “Cider is arguably the most reliant alcohol on good weather in terms of consumer behaviour.

“Its key to long term and sustainable growth is making itself more attractive to people outside of the BBQ season, as indicated by our preliminary data showing sales dropped off quite notably once the weather worsened from late July.”

Cider brands experiencing particularly strong growth across the year included Thatchers (up 44%), Kopparberg (+21%) and Rekorderlig (+17%). Strongbow remains the biggest in the sector, with 28% market share.

It wasn’t just cider that benefited from the warm weather, British households spent 9% more on beer between mid-May and mid-July than the same period last year – helping the category to grow 5.0% annually to £3.9 billion.