Many breweries have jumped on the pear cider band wagon, but Thatchers has broken away form the pack and launched Ciderberry - a red, berry-flavoured cider.
Ciderberry fruit cider is infused with natural berry juices form blackcurrants, raspberries and blueberries.
The makers say the 5.4 per cent ABV beverage is designed to be enjoyed chilled and over ice.
"Ciderberry has a slightly drier taste than other fruit ciders currently in the market with a unique blend of berries. We believe it is this blend that will appeal to a more sophisticated palate," said Martin Thatcher, managing director of Thatchers Cider.
Aspall Suffolk Cyder is the first to be available aboard the Cunard ocean liner fleet as part of a move into the premium on-trade.
The draught cider (5.5% abv) is already available on the Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and will be sold on the Queen Elizabeth when it is fully-constructed in autumn 2010.
"We are delighted that Aspall Suffolk Cyder is now on board the world's best ocean liners and we are pleased to be able to enhance consumers' voyages with a quality cyder which is made from 100% apple juice," said Aspall commercial director Geoff Bradman. [...more]
Independent UK family brewer Hall & Woodhouse has launched a new pear cider.
The cider, called Badger Pearwood Cider, is made from pears grown in Somerset, in the west of England, the Morning Advertiser reports.
"Following the success of Applewood, the cider we created with Thatchers, it seems only natural to extend the range by making a pear cider," Rick Paynes, brands marketing manager at Hall & Woodhouse told the newspaper. [...more]
The Gaymer Cider Company is an English company who produce the brands Blackthorn, Olde English and Gaymers ciders, while Constellation Brands Inc. based in Victor, New York is the leading producer of premium wines in the world. The transaction will give the C&C Group a broad portfolio of UK cider brands, a new cider production facility in Somerset and a distribution warehouse in Bristol.
The deal is expected to be complete by mid-January 2010, following consultation with employees. As well as giving the Magners producer control over the Blackthorn, Olde English and Gaymers brands, C&C will also receive a range of value cider brands and 'own label' products for UK grocers. [...more]
Cider brand White Lightning will disappear from shelves in April after supplier Heineken UK announced it is to pull out of the "problem" white cider category and concentrate on its premium brands.
Heineken's decision follows recent efforts to distance itself from the cheaper end of the cider market, including the removal of all extra-fill promotions and three litre packs across its higher strength cider products and the decision to reduce the ABV content of White Lightning from 7.5% to 5.5% in April 2009.
Sales managing director (Off Trade) Mark Gerken said the move was a conscious effort to change the landscape of the category. "Despite our efforts to premiumise the category, white cider has remained a problem for us. When we reduced the ABV we hoped other suppliers would follow, but it seems we just created an opportunity for others, [...more]
The National Association of Cider Makers has complained about Labour MP Alan Meale's petition to the government to triple cider taxes to bring them in line with beer taxes.
Simon Russell, spokesperson for the National Association of Cider Makers, feels that doing so would jeopardise the jobs of those in the cider industry, the BBC reported.
Mr Russell told the BBC that the taxes on cider are lower because its production costs are much higher than those of beer.
Stephen Glancey, chief operating officer of C&C Group, owner of Magners said he is unable to rule-out job losses as the result of its purchase of rival cider maker, Gaymer Cider Company.
Speaking at a press conference in Dublin, following the £45m acquistion, Glancey said that while a consultation was ongoing, the aim was to continue to develop both Magners and Gaymer's brands, but cut costs by reducing funds spent on distribution.
Glancey added the move to acquire the Shepton Mallet-based cider maker from Constellation Brands was driven by a need to strengthen the business through a portfolio of products covering all sectors of the market. [...more]
Aspall is considering launching a new product for UK pubs - an 11 per cent double fermented cider.
Cuvee Chevallier, which is currently packaged in a champagne-type bottle, has recently gone on sale in America - and already sold out.
And now the Suffolk-based company is weighing up whether to launch it in Britain. [...more]
Moles Brewery of Melksham has launched its Black Rat Cider in 500ml bottles in a new bid to target the on-trade.
The crisp, medium dry cider, previously only available in a 330ml bottle with 4.7 per cent ABV, now has a 5.5 per cent ABV in the new bottle size.
The Black Rat brand has been growing with the success of a six per cent ABV traditional Scrumpy and a 4.8 per cent ABV sparkling cider.
Keith Reynolds, operations director at Moles said: "The development of the brand has largely been dependent on Scrumpy sales through the Bristol area, Somerset and Wiltshire region. The 500ml bottle gives us the opportunity to get the brand known in a wider area." [...more]
Magners cider producer C&C Group has bought rival manufacturer Gaymer Cider Company from Constellation Brands for £45m.
Gaymer's, which employs around 250 people, produces a number of cider brands including Blackthorn, Olde English and Gaymers.
C&C said it was funding the deal via a new bank facility of £60m.
The acquisition, which is expected to complete by mid-January, would result in savings of £3m by the end of the 2013 financial year, C&C said.
The Gaymer's deal is the latest in a list of acquisitions C&C has undertaken following the arrival of ex-Scottish & Newcastle boss John Dunsmore.
In August C&C bought the Tennent's lager brand from ABInBev for £180m. [...more]
Constellation Brands, Inc.the world's leading wine company, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to sell its Gaymer Cider Company business to C&C Group PLC of Dublin Ireland for 45 million pounds Sterling, or approximately $70 million, subject to closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close by mid-January 2010.
"The Gaymer cider business has been a valued and respected part of Constellation's European operations for many years," said Rob Sands, president and chief executive officer, Constellation Brands. "However, as the company's strategy has evolved to focus on premium higher-growth, higher-margin wine, beer and spirits brands, it made good strategic sense to sell the cider business. Overall, Constellation continues to pursue opportunities and strategies that promote the simplification of its international organization, the improvement of efficiencies, return on invested capital, cash flow and the reduction of costs." [...more]
Constellation Brands,announced today that it has entered into an agreement to sell its Gaymer Cider Company business to C&C Group PLC of Dublin Ireland for 45 million pounds Sterling, or approximately $70 million, subject to closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close by mid-January 2010. [...more]