Magners drives a cider revolution…

UK Beer and CiderIt seems that Magners has helped create a minor revolution in the UK, which has seen the balance tip dramatically (if not necessarily decisively) between beer and cider. This chart from the FT shows just how sudden and far reaching the change has been. It has also consists of 68.4% of the profits made by C&C up until February this year. As a mass market cider, it seems, nevertheless, to have driven a rediscovery of other more exclusive ciders.Interestingly, the growth in sales has seen significant replanting of cider orchards (Scottish and Newcastle have planted 33,000 new trees), some of them specifically for the high end of the value chain. What chance of seeing renewed fortunes for Northern Ireland’s apple growers? There is at least one company planning to put Armagh Cider back on the commercial map. And there are also a few ‘native’ species, such as ‘Blood of the Boyne’ which reputedly has a fine red glow to the outside with a slight strawberry taste, being grown, once again, in commercial numbers.


  • Pete Baker

    Hmmm… you wouldn’t have shares in any cider production companies by any chance, Mick?..


  • Mick Fealty

    Not at all. One would need surplus income for that sort of caper and that’s not a problem we’ve ever been plagued with in our house. Most of my spare capital (about £24, I think) is tied up in my Betfair account awaiting the next NI election. 😉

    Joking aside, it’s a phenomenal story. NI needs to be looking at its potential to grow local brands in other markets in order to create higher value locally. No question.

    I know there are a few doing just this on what is still a relatively modest scale. Whether or not they can strike as lucky with the timing and marketing as Magners, they are showing the way forward for others.

  • Pete Baker

    “Whether or not they can strike as lucky with the timing and marketing as Magners”

    As lucky, or, I suspect, whether they can sustain the expense.. That was a very professional, and extensive, campaign.

  • Mick Fealty

    As the man who holds the Disney franchise in Europe told me last October: marketing is everything. The whole company floated upwards last year on this particular cider bubble.

  • Setanta

    Any more Magners / Bulmers threads and I might even try the stuff…

    But does anyone know the business reason for the different names as surely it makes little sense in markets that overlap a a fair bit and in these days of business and brand synergy and other such corporate nonsense.

  • Setanta

    The cider has been selling on its home market under the name of Bulmers for a number of years now. When C&C launched the brand outside of the Republic, they had to choose a different name, because there was already a company called Bulmers making cider in the UK market (Strongbow is one of theirs.)

    Now that they are sponsoring rugby’s Celtic League using the Magners name, I think it would be better if they were to rebrand under the Magners name in all their markets.

  • moochin photoman
  • Mick Fealty

    The Irish name came about because of a collaboration between Bulmers of Clonmel HP Bulmers. The Magners name (after the Irish originator of the cider) was adopted to avoid confusion in the export market. More history on the UK Bulmers. It’s telling that the original brand is obliged to tell readers that it is not the Clonmel cider company.

  • Dualta

    I’d an ulcer at the age of 18 after a misspent few years of guzzling bottles of Strongbow and then onto Merrydown Dry up entries in the Lower Falls.

    I wish you’d stop going on about this Magners shenanigans Mick. I get a sore tummy reading about it!

  • Mick Fealty


    Loose talk of Vodka and Orange has the same effect on me, after one badly misspent eighteenth birthday night.

  • moochin photoman

    For me Red Bull full stop, never again, it strips the stomach (strange considering that the main active ingredient is Taurine extracted from a cows stoamch).
    But for an everyday drink ya cant beat a barrack buster of cider….

  • ktel

    Nothing compares with a cider hangover, though.

  • Its all just more evidence of the switch to sweet
    Alcho-pop culture.

  • moochin photoman

    The Alabama3 (they of the Sopranos theme) sing a song”The Old Purple Tin (9% of Pure Heaven)”

    The old purple tin,the old purple tin,
    Sweet testament looooord, to the state that i’m in,
    I drink it all day, i drink it all night

    Tennants Super is the hard core street drinkers tipple along with that old retainer Special Brew

  • The “Bucky” switch from winos tipple of choice tothe mainstream some years back says it all.

  • Miss Fitz

    I am surprised no one (in any of the 54 cider threads recently) has mentioned the Southern Comfort hangover

    I can hardly even write it without feeling queasy……. Rose of Tralee, 1979……. remember something about sleeping on a bench……. never touched the stuff again

  • balti house

    Miss Fitz

    has to be said that the southern comfort hangover is beyond compare. mine ended with me face down in a field in 1989 (ten yrs after u)pours of rain but i didnt notice was just trying to turn my stomach inside out…….3 mls from rostrevor

  • Miss Fitz

    LOL Balti!
    BTW, did you go up to the rally? Good crowds in the end I believe. I kept my energy for the Whsitledown later on that evening….. dancing diva that I am!!