One of the jobs of Ciderzale as a consultancy consists in designing digital brand strategies for the cider industry, with special focus on social networks and search engines. This means that we have to compare several indicators and measure the digital activity of our clients. This time, we have analyzed the evolution and state of cider on the Internet and social networks. Is cider experiencing a meteoric rise?
When we talk about cider revolution, I have the feeling that our thoughts are often influenced by the passion of the people involved in the rethinking of cider. What I want to say is that many times we share our opinions in somewhat endogamic forums, in which all the interlocutors are conditioned by their enthusiasm towards cider. Including myself, of course.
It’s quite evident that cider is growing, something that is not difficult to perceive for anyone who does a minimum monitoring of this beverage. However, I think we must look beyond to have a more impartial vision and analyze the objective indicators that we have at our disposal to make a realistic analysis.
Several reports confirm that cider is one of the fastest growing beverages in the world, specially in the USA. In some EU countries cider and fruit wines have enjoyed one of the fastest growth rates of all alcoholic beverages as well, according to the 2018 European Cider Trends report.
But what about the digital state and growth of cider? It’s said that since the creation of the Internet, markets have become conversations, and technology offers a wide range of tools to listen to those conversations. Let’s take a look.
One of the tools we can take advantage of to analyze the state of cider on the Internet is Google Trends. Basically, you can compare the evolution of different search terms through time, starting in 2004. It’s a good indicator, showing the global interest on any topic based on the search volume. Information can also be filtered by countries or languages.
Comparing the evolution of the search rates for wine, beer, champagne and cider, it’s clear that beer has almost reached wine (which still occupies the first position), while cider has reached champagne. The highest search rate on cider since 2004 happened in January 2017, still far from wine and beer.
This infographic represents the growth of cider as search term in Google, comparing to mead and kombucha, which are apparently another fast growing fermented beverages. The growth of cider is evident, specially from 2010. 2017 was the year in which cider reached the highest search rate. Kombucha has outperformed mead (which has fallen in recent years), and the growth of cider is far superior to the rest.
Let’s take a look now on the growth of cider in other languages: Spanish (sidra), French (cidre), and Japanese (サイダー). Spanish and French terms compete for the first position, followed by Japanese. All of them have a continuous and significant growth in the past 15 years.
If we compare Italian (sidro), Portuguese (cidra) German (apfelwein), Russian (сидр) and Polish (cydr) we can see that the interest on cider has had a considerable growth in Portugal, Russia and Poland. On the other hand, the Italian search term has experienced a slight growth, while German falls a bit in recent years.
The previous graph is a comparison between some minor terms like Basque sagardoa, Chinese 苹果酒 and Romanian cidru. It shows a considerable growth of the Romanian search term, as well as the fall of Chinese and the stabilization of Basque. I suppose that the information about China is not a faithful reflection of the reality, since in this country they have their own search engines and a restricted use of the Internet.
I believe Instagram is a good platform to take the temperature of trends. Even though probably Facebook is the mainstream concentrating the most users (2,271 million active users), Instagram is where the presence of trends is most clearly seen (1,000 million active users).
However, measuring the global evolution of a term in Instagram is not as simple as in Google Trends, so the best way to approach to the situation is by analyzing the content tagged with the different terms. In this case, we have selected the main fermented beverages that can be found in the market such as wine, beer, champagne, kombucha or mead and we have compared them to cider.
- Beer: 60.4m posts.
- Wine: 47m posts.
- Champagne: 12.5m posts.
- Cider: 2.3m posts.
- Kombucha: 1.4m posts.
- Mead: 250k posts.
Therefore, if we compare the presence of cider on Instagram with respect to other fermented beverages, we will realize that our beloved beverage is still far from the numbers of the best known drinks. However, the analysis is quite positive, because we find that cider is the fourth fermented beverage in terms of presence, with more than 2 million photos uploaded to Instagram, the fastest growing social network, which has doubled the number of users in just two years. Not bad!
While it’s true that Instagram is the platform where the growing trends are best perceived, it is also true that Facebook probably approaches reality in a more reliable way. Facebook is surely the digital platform that has developed the most successful advertising segmentation. Its system is based on the information that users themselves give to the platform. When we like a page or a post, we are also giving information about our tastes and interests. With this data, Facebook allows to launch segmented advertising campaigns based on linguistic, demographic, geographic and thematic parameters, among others.
When launching an advertising campaign, Facebook allows to address the message to specific interest groups. In addition, you can know how many people your advertising will be targeting. Once again, we have compared the status of fermented drinks on Facebook, according to their own statistics. There we go.
In January 2019, Facebook had about 2,271 million active users in one month. This is the number of people who have shown interest in one or another beverage
- Beer: 308 million users (13.5%)
- Wine: 304 million users (13.3 %)
- Cider: 12 million users (0.5 %)
It should be noted that wine or beer have a big social penetration throughout the world, while cider is still a minority and very localized product. Therefore, it’s easier for the users to show their interest in wine or beer by chance, almost “unconsciously” or “accidentally” I would say.
When it comes to cider, the engagement of the people who have shown their interest is probably stronger than with beer or wine. It’s not possible to measure the specific weight of the interest shown by each person, but the engagement of each user who likes cider is probably stronger. Cider expands, but still moves very close to its hard core.
As mentioned before, I believe that sometimes we infect each other with our enthusiasm when it comes to assessing the growth of cider. There is no doubt that cider is living a spectacular growth, confirmed by market reports. But it is convenient to maintain a certain impartiality to carry out an objective analysis.
The truth is that the interest of the global market in cider is still far below other beverages, although it’s growing exponentially. We don’t know how far this growth will go, and perhaps we should not aspire to reach the “competing” drinks either.
I believe that the cider market is and will be a niche market, closely linked to the real and healthy food movement, to the vegan and gluten-free diets, to organic and natural beverages, as well as the new consumer trends of the young generations, especially with regard to flavored ciders. I would dare say that even linked to haute cuisine, with a promising future in the field of exclusive and craft products. Not to mention the similarities between the evolution of craft beer and, later, craft cider. Between microbreweries and microcideries.
There is still a very broad terrain to explore, without the need to become a mass product. It is important for craft cider to preserve its essence and roots. Excessive growth can lead to a bubble, and we all know that bubbles can explode like over carbonated cider bottles.
If you want to analyze the situation of your cider in the market and design an efficient brand strategy, do not hesitate to contact us.