Cider Corner: Marketing to, and Educating Consumers

​Although cider is an age-old product, it can still be fairly new to many consumers. That can pose difficulties in selling and cideries are looking for creative ways to market and sell to this new generation of consumers.

Creating new styles, or exploring heritage blends means sharing and educating a story many may not know.​

​”​We haven’t had much in the way of dud ciders — though they have happened — more just figuring out a way to market them better,” said ANXO Head Cidermaker, Gregory Johnson. “We make ciders in collaboration with intra-national and international producers that are higher in tannin and funk character, attributes not commonly known to the American consumer.

“It is one of those things where we have to literally put the liquid in someone’s mouth and then they understand. They also more often than not like it, so we are improving our branding around those products.”

​Johnson added that when a cidery makes ciders that are apples only and dry, it is an uphill battle to educate the consumer that cider isn’t actually sweet on its own​.

“Almost always in the American market, the sweetness is from the addition of sugar​,” he said​. ​”All of our ciders are dry and may be made with native ferments, wine ferments, or a combination of both. This is in a concept sometimes difficult for the common consumer but we are getting better about portraying what that means​.”​

Eastman’s Forgotten Ciders are primarily the ones working customer-facing events right now, so ​Nicole Ward said being out in front as the face of the cidery has been the easiest way to make sure the consumer is educated about who ​they are, what ​they do, how ​they do it​.

“​We also try to highlight a lot of the ‘behind the scenes’ on our Facebook and Instagram pages​,” Ward said​. ​”​We find people want to connect with the humor and tasks of owning an orchard/cidery, as much as they do our ciders.

​”​With that being said, we try to use consistent verbiage when talking to the consumer, so our messaging is straightforward and the same regardless of who is working.​”​

​When they do connect with a consumer, Ward says they will try to start with apple facts and information about what goes into the cider,

“We have cool apples to talk about,” she said. “When you start to talk about how we make our cider, they’re more interested. Then, it’s really about trying different ciders — ours and other people’s. That’s the only way people will start to become better cider connoisseurs.”

She said they can talk about dry ciders that way and from there they can discuss more of the nuances of the cider and how they might taste it differently because of the apples used in it.

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