While on a global scale, Cider is only equivalent to around 1% of the beer market; it has been growing at double the rate of beer and has expanded dramatically in new markets such as Southern and Eastern Europe, and Asia.  However, the Covid-19 pandemic, and attendant closure of on-premise outlets in many markets, has disproportionately hit beer and cider and created many challenges for producers.

Where possible, cider producers have tried to move to online sales amid the Covid-19 pandemic.  Whilst this can provide a challenge to many smaller craft producers, who may not have had an online presence before the crisis, many “craft” cider producers have successfully moved to an online sales model.  Examples in the UK include the Kent Cider Company; Hunter’s Cider from Devon; and Sheppeys in Somerset (although Sheppeys has had to close its “House of Cider” tourist attraction).  Larger producers such as Westons and Thatchers have also ramped up online sales.

Undoubtedly, the pandemic will have a serious effect on profitability, and some smaller producers may struggle to survive, whilst larger producers such as C&C (the owner of Magners and the Bulmer’s trademark in Ireland) will see a dramatic effect on its business in the short to medium term.  C&C has announced a profit warning with outgoing CEO Stephen Glancy stating, “Covid-19 will have a material impact on group performance”.

Aston Manor Brewery, owned by the French Groupe Agrial, has stated that it has assurances from suppliers to allow it to operate “business as usual”.  The company, which is skewed towards off-premise, with a large private label business, is potentially in a stronger position than many of its competitors.  GlobalData’s latest Consumer Survey in the UK shows consumer preferences towards products with premium prices has declined, with just 9% of consumers buying alcoholic drinks at a premium price in week 6*. Despite a marked rise in optimism, with only 45% of respondents in week 6 expecting the situation to get a bit/lot worse over the next month, when compared to 55% in week 5**, uncertainty over the economic outcome of the lockdown, increased unemployment, and a decline in disposable incomes continues to hurt premium growth.

According to the survey, 33% of UK consumers wanted news about initiatives adopted by brands during the coronavirus pandemic***, and companies that are seen to react positively should benefit in the future. Somerset-based cider maker, Thatchers, has been very active, delivering supplies of its new Zero non-alcoholic cider to frontline staff in hospitals and ambulance services in the Southwest of England, as well as offering to help with shopping and other jobs to local residents who are unable to leave their homes.

In an attempt to maintain the profile of cider amid the Covid-19 pandemic, “ciderologist” Gabe Cook hosted the “World’s Biggest Cider Tasting” via Instagram on 2 May.

As with the craft beer sector, there are likely to be a number of closures and bankruptcies in the cider category. Companies that have managed to move to an online model, either delivery or “click and collect”, may be able to “ride the storm”.  The seasonal nature of the cider market, which continues to skew towards the summer months, may mean that the category will be able to benefit from a lifting of some of the restrictions as the world begins to emerge into a “new normal”.

Latest reports from


Or to search over 50,000 other reports please visit

GlobalData Report Store

GlobalData is this website’s parent business intelligence company.