​Cider Corner: Building an Off-Prem Consumer Base​

With off-prem being an area of focus for ​2 Towns Ciderhouse​ well before the dramatic shifts in​ the cider industry​ due to the current pandemic​, Scott Bugni​ says that the Oregon-based cidery has not switched too much in terms of marketing.

“[We are] just shifting some of our focus to double down on those off-prem strategies which became a higher priority due to shutdowns in on-prem​,” he said​. ​”​We worked hard to maintain or evolve existing product releases and programs rather than placing everything on pause and waiting for things to go back to normal.​”​

As ​2 Towns got used to a new strategy with ​a local delivery program, ​it slowly expanded territory coverage for that program further out across the state as a way to expand ​its ​’​home base​.’

​”​In a more general sense, we have always worked to connect with our fans outside our ​’​home base​’​ by treating them as a distinctly different audience than our home base fans and prioritizing messaging that is relevant to them while doing our best to target the ​’​home base​’​ message to that crowd​,” Bungi, the cidery’s Marketing Director said​. ​”​It takes some extra effort to segment those audiences and develop unique messaging for them, but it really is essential to building those relationships in a meaningful way.​”​

Pennsylvania ​had closed its state liquor stores for the whole of the pandemic thus far​,​ so what off-premises accounts ​Ploughman Cider ​has worked​​ with have been getting great pull through​, noted Ben Wenk.

“As Pennsylvanians can’t access wine through conventional means​, we​ are finding cider to be a great alternative offered in distributors and six-pack shops while state stores are closed​,” he said.​

​Stowe Cider set up and started rolling with an online platform that has allowed ​the Vermont cidery to ship cider directly to consumers in states ​it had not ​yet ​distributed to before.

Digital Marketing Coordinator​ Madison Hayes points out it​ allowed consumers in 38 states to have the ability to try limited​-​release ciders which, traditionally​,​ have been taproom only​ products​.

Photo courtesy Stowe Cider Instagram

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