According to Nielsen data, the hard cider category is in trouble, with “off premise” (package) sales down more than 10% from 2015 to 2016.  But when you peel away the largest producers and look at small, independent craft cider brands, the story is completely different.  Craft cider has enjoyed a 39% increase by dollar volume. 

In a recent presentation to the cider industry trade organization (the United States Association of Cider Makers), Danny Brager and Matt Crompton of Nielsen broke down the numbers in great detail.  Among the other highlights that cider makers can celebrate (rather morbidly) that people who drink cider are younger, and people who don’t drink cider are older and dying off (65+  sorry Dad).

Merchandising Matters

One important point that was made was that for cider to sell well, it has to be found.  Danny and Matt showed the group a few pictures in which four or five cider brands were completely lost when mixed into a cooler among the beer and FMBs.  On the other hand, we recently saw a photo from one of our customers, Austin Eastciders.  It shows how cider should be presented.  Compliments to Mark King and our friends at Austin Eastciders!

The large header card can’t be missed. But even without it, you’d be able to spot Eastcider as you walked by.  Notice the difference those 12 pack boxes make!  When you display bare cans held together by a six pack ring or those %$*#&^! fancy snap-cap connectors, your customers have to stop and look to find your product.  When your cans are in a carton, they draw people in.  It doesn’t have to be a big 12-pack carton:  even a six pack carton makes all the difference.

Let’s talk about can cartons next week!

We had more than a half-dozen customers take advantage of our special 12 pack can box run that closed last week.  They got next-column pricing on their order, and when Memorial Day comes, they’ll be selling more beer and cider.  What about you?  If you’re a canning brewer or cider maker that would like to boost your sales (in 12 packs, 6 packs, or any configuration),  contact Atlas to discuss can cartons.  If you’re at CBC next week, see us in booth 2803, and if not, we’re available at 800-247-0360 during civilized hours, or at anytime.