Cider in Australasia: the “perfect storm”

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th December 2013

The Australasian cider market is in ‘rude health’ and national brands are enjoying excellent growth, according to findings from market research organisation Canadean.

According to a new Market Insight report from Canadean, the region saw the highest growth globally in 2012, with both Australia and New Zealand pulling their weight.

New Zealand consumption mainly domestic, but  Australia diverse

In terms of consumer base, product range and industry dynamics, the cider market is in a “pivotal state of flux”, according to Canadean. The New Zealand market, although around a sixth of the size of Australia’s, is rich and varied with well over three-quarters of consumption comprising national brands.

The Australian cider market has become increasingly diverse in recent years, and 2012 was no different, according to Canadean. Both multinational and smaller players introduced cider brands to the Australian market in 2012. This investment was partly encouraged by a tax system that currently favours cider over Flavoured Alcoholic Beverages (FABs) and beer as a deterrent for excessive consumption by younger drinkers. This tax system has been a “boon” for the modern fruit-flavoured ciders that have a similar taste profile to FABs, according to Canadean.

Cider repositioned to ‘premium’

In New Zealand, Canadean found cider is being repositioned, away from its image as a beverage for older, low income consumers, to the ‘premium’ sector. This trend, which started in the early 2000s, was consolidated in 2012, with premium growth far surpassing the mainstream, despite new mainstream brands during the year.

Australian imports expanding

For 2012, Canadean found Australia saw new domestic and licensed brands, in addition to greater import volumes.

Australia’s cider import markets are also changing, from New Zealand to Europe. Canadean said this suggests widening taste preferences.

New Zealand market still “more vibrant”

Despite the expansion of the Australian market, Canadean said the New Zealand market can still be considered “even more vibrant” than the Australian, regardless of its size, due to the sheer number and variety of ciders available. This trend seems set to continue following the 2012 change in player dynamics, according to Canadean.

Further development predicted

While cider has been experiencing a something of a slump in the key West Europe market, the renaissance appears to just be getting started in Australasia, according to Canadean. With a changing landscape, Canadean predicts further development for the complex Australasian cider industry in 2013, in both volumes and brewer portfolios.

Cider predicted to grow in Australasia