Cider Corner: Determining Factors ​For Your Retail Cost

Shelf competition is tight for cider producers, sometimes that means sticking to taproom draft or selling across the counter. But venturing into retail competition may mean adjusting price points.

​Cindy Landi of St. Vrain Cidery said they are still figuring this out.

​”​I think part of the question of quantity is figuring out, not only, the cost of making the product but the cost of distributing​,” she noted​​. ​”​You need to think about the what the loss of profit will be going through a distributor, as well as the cost of a vehicle, gas, maintenance, staffing, etc.​, ​​if you’re self distributing.

​”​All that becomes the cost to make and sell your product. It’s not just the ingredients.​”​

For ​Alpenfire‘s Phillippe ​Bishop, ​​the factors breakdown to the ​cost of growing ​their apples or buying select varieties​, plus labor time​, packaging costs​ and multiplied by a ​profit margin ​percentage.​

​Sly Clyde‘s Brent Miles said they have been aiming to put competitive priced cans on the shelf, ‘but it doesn’t have to be apples to apples,” he said.

“We were uncomfortable with the shelf price we would need to hit for six-pack of cans so we opted to go with four -pack at a lower price point,” he said. “We tend to use market prices as guides rather than hard and fast rules.

“If anything, the rise of high price 16 oz cans in the beer world over the past couple years has shown that market prices can sometimes trend too low, and customers may respond if you ask for higher.”

In ​New England Cider‘s Seth Hart’s opinion​,​ pricing can be all over the board.

​”​To me it’s really dependent on location,​” he explained, noting that consumers in ​New York City won’t bat an eye at $10 ​per ​pint​,​ but in some cities ​a product will sit on draft forever at $7 a pint.

​”​Especially when you use quality ingredients … you will never compete price-wise with a mass produced cider that’s available in every state,” Hart added. “When selling to on-premise accounts, it’s actually going to be closer to craft beer sales.

“For off premise accounts, it’s going to be a hard sell for $15 four-packs or six-packs.”

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