Five Hard Cider Category Stats That Make Us Smile

March 5, 2013
cider stats

As many people know, or are at least beginning to hear, the cider category is on fire.  Here at Woodchuck, we like digging through the numbers…  there is no need for tricky marketing spin when you know the numbers.  Here are five that we think are pretty cool.


That is cider’s estimated percentage of the total US beer market.  While the exact 2012 numbers aren’t out yet, it is estimated that the beer market in the US is around 2.7 billion cases.  Wowza.  Cider is approaching 7.5 million cases.  Yes, the cider category is but a tiny dot on the map… but two years ago it was an invisible .1%, so progress is being made!

Source:  Estimates based on Impact 2012 Edition & Beer Marketer’s Insights Growth Rates


 That is cider’s estimated percentage of the craft beer market.  Like cider, the craft beer category is also experiencing rapid growth.  Craft is on its way to being 12% of the all beer sold in the US.  We’re pretty psyched that cider is 3% of craft beer!

Source:  Estimates based on Impact 2012 Edition & Beer Marketer’s Insights Growth Rates.


If hard cider were to be placed in the craft beer category as a “style” of craft beer, here is what the top eight craft styles would look like in total US food*.

  1. Seasonal (winter, Spring, Summer, Fall beers)
  2. India Pale Ale (IPA)
  3. Pale Ale
  4. Variety Packs
  6. Amber Ale
  7. Amber Lager
  8. Wheat

*Total US food is recognized as grocery stores sales only.

Now, cider is NOT beer.  It is made from apples.  Not malt, barley, and hops.  However, craft beer a decade ago is kind of like cider now, so we see it as a good category to look at for comparison.  When we ran the numbers, it definitely made us smile to see cider show up in the top five craft beer styles.

Source: IRI Current 26 Week Ending December 30, 2012

All of the numbers so far have been related to the cider category as a whole.  Not just Woodchuck.  The cider category is a diverse collection of awesome brands both large and small.  Those companies all joined forces recently to form a national association here in the US.  Awesome stuff.

Now a Woodchuck related number:


Staying with the craft beer theme, if Woodchuck Amber were put into the craft beer landscape, it would be the 14th largest brand style.  Here’s the top 15:

  1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  2. Samuel Adam Seasonal
  3. Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  4. New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale
  5. Samuel Adams Variety Pack
  6. Shiner Bock
  7. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
  8. Sierra Nevada Seasonal
  9. Widmer Hefeweizen
  10. New Belgium Seasonal
  11. New Belgium Ranger IPA
  12. Redhook Long Hammer IPA
  13. Kona Long Board Lager
  14. Woodchuck Amber Hard Cider
  15. Bells Seasonal

Source: Symphony IRI Group Calendar YTD w/e 7/8/12

Woodchuck Amber started it all back in 1991, right about the same time a lot of the beers on this list were coming into their own.  It’s taken more than two decades for Woodchuck Amber to get to this point and we couldn’t be more proud of our flagship!

Our final number is:


That is the estimated case number that would put cider at 1% of all beer sold in the US.  It’s a pretty big number.  But we see a category where the sky is the limit, the fanbase is as passionate as they come, and producers both large and small care deeply about the quality of the liquid.  So begins the quest for 1%!

These are the numbers that have us smiling our way through late winter in Vermont.  We hope you are smiling too!  Cheers!

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