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Somersby and Strongbow leading the cider boom

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Oct 2015-Sept 2016, n=14,489. Base: Australians 18+

As we reported last week, not everyone will be drinking beer and sparkly this silly season. In fact, it’s a sure bet that many Australians will be toasting the occasion with cider. According to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research, cider is not only the country’s fastest growing alcoholic beverage by far, but its consumption spikes dramatically during the summer months.

Between 2006 and 2016, the number of Aussie adults who drink cider in an average four weeks has sky-rocketed by almost 600% from just 337,000 to 2,349,000. The only other alcoholic beverage to have gained popularity over the same period was spirits, which saw a more moderate growth of 25% (admittedly, at a larger scale, rising from 3,890,000 to 4,861,000 drinkers per four weeks).

As the chart below clearly illustrates, summer is peak cider-drinking season. Between January and March 2016, nearly 3 million people (2,880,000) reported having consumed cider at least once in the last four weeks, compared with 2,250,000 in the quarter preceding it (October-December 2015) and 2,220,000 in the quarter following it (April-June 2016).

Onwards and upwards: cider’s seasonal peaks and troughs

seasonal-cider-drinking-chart

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2005-September 2016, n=193,743. Base: Australians 18+

This pattern is evident for all January-March quarters over the last 10 years. It is also striking to see how, with each consecutive summer quarter, the number of people partaking in peak-season cider consumption increases in accordance with the beverage’s overall upward trend.


Battle of the brands

With some 724,000 Aussie adults drinking it in an average four weeks (up from 460,000 in 2015), Somersby cider leads the field by a long shot, having overtaken last year’s most popular cider brand 5 Seeds (512,000, up from 506,000).

5 Seeds was also pipped at the post by old favourite Strongbow (538,000), which has bounced back from a slump of several years. Rekorderlig (332,000) and Bulmers (282,000) complete the Top Five, although both of these brands lost consumers over the last 12 months (Rekorderlig is down from 435,000 drinkers per four-week period, and Bulmers declined from 312,000).

Australia’s 10 most popular cider brands

most-popular-cider-brands-chart

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Oct 2015-Sept 2016, n=14,489. Base: Australians 18+

While cider is very much a younger person’s drink, with just over half (52.7%) of Australia’s cider consumers being under 35 years old, cider drinkers of all ages share some striking similarities in terms of their attitudes and behaviour.

Whether they’re in the blush of young adulthood or at the more mature end of the age spectrum, cider drinkers are markedly more likely than the average Australian to:

  •           Agree that ‘I wear clothes that will get me noticed
  •           Self-identify as ‘a bit of an intellectual’
  •           Agree that it’s ‘important to have a full social life’
  •           ‘Look for new experiences every day’
  •           Agree that ‘If I hear of a new alcoholic drink I will try it’

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Since we first revealed cider’s popularity boom in the wake of the government’s increased tax on ‘alcopops’ (premixed spirits), its upward trajectory has been nothing short of remarkable. The number of Aussie adults drinking cider in an average four weeks has now well and truly surpassed those drinking alcopops in the same period (2,025,000) and shows no sign of plateauing. In fact, with summer upon us, Roy Morgan data shows that cider consumption is on the verge of its annual spike.

“With more cider options available than ever, it’s crucial that big brands don’t rest on their laurels simply because the beverage’s popularity is at such a historic high. Increased choice means increased competition, and the shifts among the most popular brands over the last 12 months are testament to this. During this short period, for example, Somersby has shot up to top spot, while Strongbow has made a comeback and last year’s favourite, 5 Seeds, has slipped to third.

“What’s more, Roy Morgan data shows that cider drinkers have an elevated tendency towards novelty, whether that be in the form of new experiences or new alcoholic beverages, which would make maintaining consumers’ interest for any length of time a little more challenging for brands. Of course, with the help of Roy Morgan’s deep alcohol data, brands can gain a much better understanding of cider consumers and the Australian cider market, so as to ensure their marketing and brand positioning is as relevant and effective as possible.”


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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2