Thatchers Gold medium dry cider is relaunching in Australia in time for spring/summer 2019.
Australians will be able to purchase the new look cans in Dan Murphy’s stores and expand their cider knowledge with the Thatchers Gold cider cart, which will be travelling up along the East Coast this summer as part of the Cider Discovery Tour.
The Thatchers Gold cider cart will be popping-up in locations across Melbourne, Byron Bay, Sydney and Queensland with ambassador Ben Irons sharing his knowledge on Thatchers Gold food pairings and cocktail creations.
Drinks Trade asked Andrew Brooks, Brand Manager at Thatchers Cider, for the lowdown on the latest in cider and what prompted the brand repackaging.
What prompted the repackaging for Thatchers Gold and how has it been received by retailers and consumers?
Throughout this project we’ve worked closely with our major retail partners and consumers to make sure we hit the mark with the packaging and so far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
The big learning for us was understanding the difference between a mature cider market like the UK and a relatively new cider market like Australia. We’re talking to vastly different consumers, which mean we needed to readjust the way we communicate to them in each market.
The new branding celebrates Thatcher’s natural approach to cider making. Earthy tones tell a story of life on the orchards of Myrtle Farm throughout the seasons; iconic farm imagery speaks to traditional cider making techniques passed down through four generations of the Thatcher family since 1904.
How is Thatchers performing in the Aussie market?
Since launching Thatchers in Australia in 2013 trade and consumers have consistently praised the balanced, medium-dry flavor profile of Thatchers Gold. The brand has a loyal fan base of expats and travelers from the UK; the challenge for us is to grow this base by localising the brand making it relevant for an Australian audience.
Our focus throughout summer is on building distribution, awareness and trial. To that end we’re hitting the road throughout summer touring festivals such as Melbourne Music Week and Woodford Folk Festival; and beer gardens across the east coast. The tour will be hosted by the Thatchers Brand Ambassador, Ben Irons.
Ben has grown up in Somerset, England, the home of Thatchers and home of British cider. He has been instrumental in building trade and consumer loyalty for Thatchers in the fiercely competitive cider market of Bristol, UK. Ben will be slinging award winning cider and delighting consumers with delicious summer cider cocktails and food pairing all throughout summer. Keep an eye on Thatcher’s Cider Australia socials to find out where the tour will be arriving near you.
What is your view on cans versus bottles for cider in terms of consumer take-up?
The cider category is experiencing an accelerating shift from bottles to cans as the preferred drinking vessel, and large format cans are stealing share from every other format. Over the next couple of years we see cans overtaking bottles as the preferred format. Thatchers’ goal is to be ahead of the market in this respect.
Are there any trends you are noticing in the cider market?
Cider is no different to other alcohol categories; independence, authenticity, heritage and craft are all hugely influential factors, and Thatchers is in a unique position that ticks all of these boxes.
The traditional cider making techniques passed down since 1904 and the traditional varieties of cider apples used within the Thatcher’s mean the product naturally fits more on the crafted end of the spectrum. In order for consumers to understand where we fit in the market it’s important for the brand and packaging to reflect our approach to cider making.