Premium Somerset cider maker, Thatchers, will be harvesting more than just apples this Autumn as it has today (9th September 2014) announced an exclusive tie-up with Innis & Gunn that will see the family-owned company enter the lucrative US market for the first time in its 110-year history.
Under the three-year agreement, which commences this month with the launch of Thatchers Gold (4.8%ABV), Innis & Gunn will assume all administrative, marketing and promotional support for Thatchers’ flagship brand through its US subsidiary, Innis & Gunn USA, Inc (IGUSA).
Dougal Sharp, founder and CEO of Innis & Gunn said: “Thatchers Gold is regarded as being one of the best ciders in the world. Thatchers’ commitment to crafting the highest-quality and best-tasting cider means that they are the perfect complement to the position that Innis & Gunn has established in the US beer market.
“Thatchers Gold will be new to the US, where the cider category is showing explosive growth. A new generation of American consumers is looking for ciders with heritage, quality and character, so this is a very exciting step and we are proud to be part of it.”
The entire cider/perry category in the US is equal to less than 1% of overall beer volume sales, but growing fast. Over the last three years, sales of hard cider have tripled in the US, with volume and value sales increasing by 64% and 69% respectively (Euromoniter International) in 2013 alone. It is estimated that, in ten years’ time, the category in the US will have grown to 1.3 billion litres.
Martin Thatcher, managing director and fourth generation cidermaker, said: “The reputation of crafted English cider is rapidly spreading in the US. Thatchers Gold has gained a well-earned reputation in the UK for its quality and great taste, together with the values of heritage and provenance that it represents.
“With this continued growth in understanding and awareness of cider, the time is now right for Thatchers Gold to enter this exciting US market and engage with those consumers seeking out new and interesting brands.
“With Thatchers Gold sitting alongside Innis & Gunn’s range of craft beers, we are very optimistic for the future.”
Established in New York in 2010 and employing a team of four, IGUSA represents the Innis & Gunn beer portfolio in more than 20 US states. In 2014 the Edinburgh-based brewer expects to sell 3m bottles of its award-winning brews stateside, a growth of 32%YOY by volume. The agreement with Thatchers will enable IGUSA to increase its manpower from the off; the independent brewer has committed to taking on an additional four personnel by September, with further recruitment rounds planned over the three-year term.
Dougal added: “As our US Managing Director always tells us, under the US’s unique three-tier system having sufficient ‘shoe leather’ or ‘feet-on-the street’ is crucial to building premium brands. With the arrival of Thatchers Gold, our team will immediately double in size with more appointments being made in January 2015. We have agreed with Thatchers to continue to build our US team year-on-year and, in fact, if things go as we expect, we will look at accelerating this programme and making the IGUSA team even larger, faster.”
Thatchers Gold, which outperforms the UK off-trade by 36% and the UK on-trade by 27%, is crafted at Thatchers’ Myrtle Farm in Somerset, where the Thatcher family has been tending its orchards since 1904. Thatchers’ cidermakers use skills passed down through the family to blend their favourite apples such as Dabinett, Somerset Redstreak and Porters Perfection to create this medium-dry cider that takes its name from its bright, golden colour. Thatchers Gold is gluten free, and can be served chilled or over ice.
For further information, contact:
Penny Adair, Tel: 0117 9040173