By Andy Young
Cider has been enjoying impressive growth in demand across global markets, including Australia, and that is a trend that is "likely to continue" according to agribanking specialist, Rabobank.
In its latest report on the international beverage sector, Rabobank’s Wine Quarterly highlights the relative appeal of cider to younger male and female consumers.
The cider industry has, according to Rabobank senior beverages analyst Marc Soccio, connected with a new wave of consumers and discarded its old fashioned image.
"Not unlike the rise of craft beer before it, the recent success of cider producers in tapping into a seemingly ready and growing global market for their products has provided further evidence of rising segmentation within many maturing beverage alcohol markets," Soccio says.
"Sensing the opportunity, new and existing suppliers are busily testing the boundaries of the cider category with a surge in product innovation and marketing activity. Outside of Western Europe, the North American, South African, Australian and New Zealand markets are quickly expanding as consumers begin to explore the cider category with greater interest."
And while cider is consumed in similar ways to beer, Soccio has warned the wine industry that it needs to be aware of the threat that cider's growth could possess.
“The impact might still be at the margin, but wine companies need to seriously consider what might lead their current and future consumers astray as cider once again enters the big leagues in key markets at home and abroad,” he says.
The Rabobank Wine Quarterly report also says that global wine consumption is estimated to have fallen by one per cent in 2014, while global wine supply is estimated to have fallen by nearly five per cent from the bumper 2013 crop. The countries largely behind the fall in supply were Italy (-17 per cent), Spain (-6 per cent) and Chile (-18 per cent).
Do you have a story or a tip for The Shout? Email the editor.