Australia’s top-ranked ciders, CHOICE research

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th February 2012

The cider market has been growing rapidly in Australia, and Australia’s major consumer advocacy group has now undertaken further research on this.

In recent taste-test research conducted by CHOICE, Australia’s leading consumer group, CHOICE found the three top-ranked ciders to be a low alcohol French cider, Boulard Cidre de Normandie Doux, British Aspall Draught Suffolk Cider and Australian Mercury Dry Cider.

CHOICE reviewed all of the popular ciders consumed in Australia including cider beverages sourced from Australia, New Zealand, England, Sweden, France and Ireland. CHOICE used four recognized experts in the Australian wine and beverage industry – Max Allen, Mike Bennie, Chris Foster and James Kendell, to blind-test each product according to “easy drinking” or “acquired tastes”. The alcohol content ranged between 2 percent and 8 percent.

The French cider, Boulard Cide de Normandie Doux, was ranked highest with taste testers, “with dry aromas of firm cider apples offering a lot to novice and enthusiast drinkers”.

Both British Aspall Draught Suffolk Cider and Australian Mercury Dry cider came in second equal to testers for its easy drinking ability.

CHOICE spokesperson Ingrid Just said, “The results show that no single country has a monopoly on good ciders. There’s also an incredible range on the market, from the sparkling and sweet to the full flavored and tanning-rich”.

Ms Just also said that although Australia’s liquor sales are declining, “cider is showing a strong resurgence and is a beverage that appeals to a broad range of drinkers who will reach for a beer, wine or alcopop”.

Forty-five new cider labels have been introduced into the Australian market in the past two years, almost doubling the number previously available. Sales of cider have increased by 35 percent in the past year, according to Nielsen Research, 2011.