Cider Corner: Seeking New Demographics

Creating a culture for your cidery is a work unto itself, but reaching out and finding new consumers can be a challenge as well.

From the start Ronald Sansone of Spoke & Spy Ciderworks wanted their cidery to target demographics that were important to them. As a cidery that is owned by longtime vegan/vegetarians that produces only naturally vegan, raw and gluten free products Spoke & Spy wanted to stay in the community it was a part of.

“[It’s] one that the local breweries don’t go out of their way to pursue,” Sansone said of the Middletown, Connecticut market. “Adding accounts at local bars and restaurants that cater to us as vegans were important venues for our ciders and they all have been very supportive since day one.”

Pennings Farm Cidery notes that it takes advantage of local events that allow for sampling and selling of hard ciders to a broad audience which it doesn’t necessarily reach due to being a venue for over-21 patrons ten months out of the year. It attends events such as a food truck festival or an event called Trucks and Trees which draws a diverse crowd — including many families who may not be familiar with The Cidery since they have young children.

“We are focusing on educating our consumers and those consumers who are already craft beer and distilled spirit drinkers on hard ciders,” they said. “We’re working on producing hard ciders with antique and cider specific apples to introduce various demographics to the complexities that can be found in hard ciders.”

Sansone said that he personally markets to bars and restaurants the cidery’s ownership and employees frequent — which happen to be all the local vegan and gluten-free friendly ones.

“When we book food trucks we have tried to incorporate as many that offer vegan and gluten-free options and on days when we host food trucks that focus solely on vegan or gluten-free products we definitely see an increase in sales and welcome many new customers to the tasting room,” he said. adding that social media engagement also sees an increase when it involves their vegan and gluten-free food truck friends.

Photos courtesy Greg Rhein

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