Ciders now need to have a minimum juice content of 35% to avoid being classified as made wine and attracting higher tax. The cider industry has welcomed the move, saying it encourages premiumisation of the category.
Sales and marketing director of Aston Manor Glenn Asquith said: “Almost all recognised brands in the market already contain more juice content than the ordered level of 35%.
“The affected products, mainly commodity and own-label products, will benefit by having increased quality and superior flavours.
“I am positive the consumer will accept a minimal 2p-3p per pint premium to enjoy such an increase in quality.
“Until now there had been no minimum standard for cider which, in turn, was open to abuse.
“We believe the new definition is the best way forward to ensure the cider duty rate is denied to products considered to have insufficient connection to cider or perry,” he added.
Managing director of Kopparberg UK Davin Nugent said: “We welcome any steps to protect the image of cider in the markets in which we have a presence. The new regulations in the UK will not require any change in the juice content of our ciders.”?Henry Chevallier Guild, chairman of the National Association of Cider Makers, said he didn’t know which producers would be affected as the discussion with NACM members was “done in the strictest confidence in an objective way”.