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Leading Cider Labels See Growth Slow Sharply As Craft Brands Thrive

July 11, 2016

While business has been good for craft cider producers lately, growth has slowed elsewhere in the cider category after five years of surging volumes. Cider volumes in the U.S. market rose by just 2.5% to 27 million (2.25-gallon) cases in 2015, according to Impact Databank, compared to a growth rate of 64% in 2014. Category leader Angry Orchard eked out just a 3% gain to 14.95 million cases last year, while in 2014 its volumes had soared by 81% to 14.5 million cases.

Most of the category’s other major brands suddenly began to suffer last year. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Johnny Appleseed brand saw sales reach 1.5 million cases in its debut year of 2014, but volume slipped 13% to 1.31 million cases last year. The fall-off was even more precipitous for Vermont Hard Cider Co.’s Woodchuck brand, which dropped by 14.5% to 1.93 million cases.

Yet while the major brands are slumping, most craft cider makers say their sales remain strong, held back only by supply considerations. Most are producing as much cider as they can, with much of their volume sold at farmers markets, specialty shops and craft-friendly pubs. Market Watch has the full story.

To purchase Impact Databank’s new comprehensive report on the cider category, visit impactdatabank.com.

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