Cider feels shelf squash

Con­sump­tion grow­ing but wine and beer dom­i­nate su­per­mar­ket shelf space, writes Chloe Win­ter.

Sunday Star-Times - - BUSINESS | NEWS -

New Zealan­ders’ love of cider is grow­ing but it’s not re­flected on the su­per­mar­ket shelves, the boss of cider maker Zef­fer says.

Josh Townsend said that ac­cord­ing to busi­ness an­a­lyt­ics firm IRI, cider was worth $55.5 mil­lion to New Zealand, grow­ing 8 per cent a year. Wine was grow­ing at 3 per cent and beer at 5.5 per cent a year. Craft beer was earn­ing $113m.

Based on those fig­ures, he said space given to cider on su­per­mar­ket shelves was ‘‘mas­sively dis­pro­por­tion­ate’’ to that given to beer and wine.

Cider was given about a third of the shelf space for craft beer, when it should be nearer to half.

But An­toinette Laird, spokes­woman for su­per­mar­ket com­pany Food­stuffs, which owns New World, Pak ‘n Save, and Four Square, said cider got ‘‘more than its fair share’’ of shelf space.

Cider shelf space var­ied from store to store, but it was gen­er­ally be­tween 10 per cent and 15 per cent over­all, Laird said.

Cider sales across all Food­stuffs stores ac­counted for about 5 per cent of to­tal liquor sales.

‘‘We be­lieve cider gets more than its fair share of space on shelves,’’ Laird said.

How­ever, the com­pany was con­stantly re­view­ing its cat­e­gories and con­sumer trends, and cider was no dif­fer­ent.

De­mand for cider had in­creased a lot over the past few years, Townsend said.

Part of that growth was a grow­ing de­mand for craft cider.

‘‘Con­sumers are be­com­ing more dis­cern­ing by un­der­stand­ing what’s on of­fer, un­der­stand­ing the dif­fer­ent sugar con­tent, the dif­fer­ent flavour pro­files. And they are will­ing to pay a pre­mium for a bet­ter-qual­ity prod­uct.’’

Massey Univer­sity re­tail ex­pert Jonathan Elms said drinks com­pa­nies were in a ‘‘con­stant bat­tle’’ over shelf space.

But at the end of the day, the re­tail­ers would make a de­ci­sion based on which prod­ucts made them the most money.

‘‘Re­tail­ers will want to push par­tic­u­lar prod­ucts that they have their big­ger mar­gin on, or have a par­tic­u­lar bet­ter value for them,’’ Elms said.

Cider was ‘‘still a pe­riph­eral bev­er­age’’ in comparison to wine and beer.

A Count­down spokes­woman said cider was only a ‘‘rel­a­tively small part’’ of its over­all al­co­hol sales.

Josh Townsend of Zef­fer says con­sumers are be­com­ing more dis­cern­ing but his com­pany faces an up­hill bat­tle to get its prod­uct in front of them.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.