Record demand for pear cider described as 'Cinderella-like transformation'

Growers are continuing to benefit from the record demand for pear cider, as Tesco has revealed that volume sales for the product have doubled in the past year.

In March this year, Grower reported that the rising popularity of the drink was enabling growers to make some £100/tonne from the sale of juicing pears - a big increase from the £5 to £30/tonne they made a few years ago.

Kent-based producer Adrian Scripps managing director James Simpson told Grower that he expects the 2009/10 season to be just as fortunate.

"It's early in the season, but it would appear that there's still a reasonable demand for these (pears). But whether that will go through the year I don't know. There's a larger crop of pears across Europe which always means there will be more processing pears available, so we will have to see what happens."

Managing director Peter Spencer of Gaymer Cider Company, which was launched last spring and which uses English fruit, reassured growers. He said: "We remain confident that our long-standing relationships with our farmers will provide us with a continued supply as the demand for pear cider continues."

Figures by AC Nielsen show that sales began rocketing on the back of the cider revival and that demand has swelled the value of the UK market from just £3.4m two years ago to £46m today.

Tesco beer and cider buyer Ian Targett described the pear cider revival as a "Cinderella-like transformation", with Tesco increasing its range from 11 to 16 different lines in the past year - with a further five about to be launched.

Targett said: "As with ale, people are starting to match ciders with dishes, just as they do with wine."

Norman Collett added that, in the past year, it has seen demand for processing and juice grow by 25 per cent on account of the pear cider boom.


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