Budweiser Budvar has established an important position on the Czech cider market
There are no data available regarding the import of other brands of cider. Undoubtedly, the Somersby brand has gained a substantial market share in this beverage category.
Last June, Budweiser Budvar Brewery, N.C. became the sole importer of the Somersby Apple Cider to the Czech Republic. Somersby is a premium brand of the Danish concern Carlsberg Breweries. The interest of Czech customers proved cider’s interesting business potential, as people lately have been seeking more and more new and unusual flavours of beverages and are not afraid to experiment.
“We have successfully and at the right time entered a completely new market segment, which began to develop on the Czech market last year. We provided consumers with an interesting alternative to malt alcoholic drinks, beer lemonades as well as wine. The Somersby brand was accepted very well by the customers, so owing to that we managed to sell more than 2,100 hectolitres of apple cider, gaining a substantial market share in this beverage category,” says Budweiser Budvar’s trade marketing manager Alžběta Eignerová.
The cider segment in the Czech Republic has so far been very small. As estimated by the Local Cider Producers Union, the Czech production of this beverage amounted only to about 1,000 hectolitres last year. There are no data available regarding the import of other brands of cider. In 2010, about 15 million hectolitres of cider were consumed in Europe. The European consumption has been constantly growing since 2000, with the sales annually increasing by 3% on average. As market research suggests, this trend is going to continue in the forthcoming years as well. “We expect the demand for cider in the Czech Republic to substantially grow in years to come, therefore we are going to launch a new version of this drink on the market,” adds Alžběta Eignerová.
Somersby Apple Cider was sold in 0.33 litre bottles and cans last year, with the main distribution channel being hypermarkets of the largest business chains as well as independent retails. About a third of the total volume was sold in gastronomic facilities.
About Somersby Apple Cider
It is produced from fermented apple must, therefore its flavour and aroma are pleasantly accented by fresh apples. It is slightly sparkling, very refreshing and intended for consumption particularly in hot summer months – hence it is always served over ice. Somersby Apple Cider has an alcohol content of 4.5%, thus ranking amongst so-called medium-dry ciders. Somersby appeals to both women and men, who enjoy an urban lifestyle, spend a lot of time with friends, think positively and like to experiment.
General information about cider
A fermented apple beverage was known as far back as the ancient times; it was called “sikera“ in Greek, “sicera“ in Latin and “šekar“ in Hebrew. The first medieval messages on cider production in Europe date back to the times of Charles the Great. The first research publication on cider production De vino et pomaceo was elaborated by Charles IX.’s personal doctor in 1588. Cider has been very popular in Europe these days, particularly in its western part. English-speaking countries call it “cider“, French call it „cidre“, Spanish and Portuguese „sidra“. This beverage is quite unknown in the Czech Republic for the time being.
Good-quality cider is made from a special strain of apples. Usually it is mixed from several apple strains in order to achieve the appropriate proportion of sweetness, bitterness and acidity of the initial cider. The extracted apple must ferments in stainless steel tanks with controlled temperature of fermentation that allows the preservation of aromatic substances in the beverage. Then it is racked into bottles, where the final fermentation can take place making the cider slightly sparkling. As a result of the final fermentation a haze can occur at the bottom of the bottles, which is not harmful. In accordance with the alcohol content, cider is classified as sweet (under 3 % of alcohol), medium-dry (3 - 5%) and dry (above 5%).