The off-trade cider market grew 3.3% in the year to September 13, according to Nielsen figures in Swedish cider brand Kopparberg’s autumn report on the UK cider category.
That growth was fuelled by fruit, which grew 35% to £245.7 million, boosting its share of the market 6% to 26%.
But pear cider sales dropped 29% to £61.9 million, losing nearly 3% market share, which is now just 6%.
Meanwhile apple slipped 1% to £652.3 million, and its market share fell 3% to 68%.
Strongbow, the biggest brand in the market, has consolidated its position by boosting fruit cider sales by £35.1 million to £48.4 million, more than compensating for falling sales of apple (-3%) and pear cider (-43%) so that the brand grew by 7.6% overall.
Fruit-dominated Kopparberg is the second-biggest brand and boosted overall sales by 19.6%, with fruit up 33%.
Bulmers’ sales fell 7.3%, even though the brand is dominated by fruit cider and its fruit sales grew 10%. But apple sales fell 22% and pear declined by more than £5.4 million.
Stella Cidre and Magners, both dominated by apple, saw sales drop.
But smaller-selling apple cider brands are seeing good growth – Westons, Thatchers and Frosty Jacks all increased sales by double digits.
The biggest growth in the market came from Rekorderlig, which saw sales grow 24.7%.
Kopparberg Mixed Fruit is the most popular fruit cider variant in the off-trade, with sales up 25% to £46.1 million.
Strongbow Dark Fruit sales soared 218% to £42.5 million, making it the second-biggest variant in the market.
They were followed by Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime, Bulmers Crushed Red Berries & Lime, Rekorderlig Strawberry & Lime, Bulmers Bold Black Cherry, Jacques Fruits de Bois, Rekorderlig Wild Berries, Stella Artois Cidre Raspberry and Strongbow Citrus Edge.