bbq-001Merrydown’s Vintage Ciders are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the unstoppable barbecue bonanza – and Merrydown expects demand for at home eating and drinking to be greater than ever this summer as consumers feel the pinch.

While wine and beer are traditionally partnered with barbecues, retailers can benefit from consumer interest in cider’s continuing growth in the premium cider sector, says Merrydown Managing Director Chris Carr.

Merrydown’s one-litre glass bottles are perfect for sharing, while 440ml cans provide convenience for al fresco drinking around the barbecue. But it is the liquid inside the bottles and cans that sets Merrydown apart, says managing director Chris Carr.

Merrydown’s unique recipe – devised 63 years ago in Sussex, using the juice of crisp, ripe eating apples fermented with yeast from the Champagne Ardenne region – makes its Vintage Medium and Dry ciders the perfect match for food, says Carr.

“A good quality premium cider, made with eating apples rather than bitter cider apples, is not only refreshing in hot weather but also stands up well to the robust flavours of barbecue food,” he says.

After last year’s successful marketing campaign pairing its ciders with take-home curries, Merrydown is increasing its “with food” positioning this summer  to encompass  barbecues. To enable retailers to make the most of this link, free “with food” POS is available to retailers via Merrydown’s  POS hotline 0800 917 3450.

Carr advises independent retailers to check the following to make the most of sales during the BBQ season:

Keep in stock….

If it’s not on shelf, you can’t sell it! Exploit the natural thirst-quenching nature of cider by keeping an eye on the weather forecasts this summer to make sure you don’t miss out on a sudden heatwave which heralds BBQ weather.

…and chilled

Never underestimate the attraction of a display of ice cold bottles in the chiller. Keep the chiller fully stocked and remember to restack from the back to ensure optimum stock turnover. A reliable supply of chilled product increases sales and meets consumer needs for impulse BBQ purchases in the unpredictable English summer.

Make your space work harder

When promoting key lines, consider displaying ‘off shelf’ with other BBQ-related items, particularly when the sun shines. This will increase sales and ensure you have sufficient stock on the shop floor to meet demand.

Small case sizes can be handled more easily. Merrydown Vintage is now offered in 6 packs for added convenience.

Check your display

Make sure prices are visible – consumers are more likely to buy when they know the price.  Highlight promotions with shelf barkers – sales of ciders increase hugely when on promotion – and consider linked promotions on barbecue-related products to increase basket spend.

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors advises that ciders should account for at least 25% of your LADs (Long Alcoholic Drinks), therefore allocate space accordingly. Have Premium cider products at eye level with the White Cider on the bottom shelf. The FWD also recommends Merrydown Vintage 1L Dry and Medium is included on all cider planograms for Independent Retailers.

Remember Premium Cider is the fastest growing sector (Neilsen Scantrack: Total GB take home glass bottled cider category 21.02.09) so review the amount of space given to Premium Ciders like Merrydown, which provide more potential for profit and will attract higher spending customers.

Sales enquiries: SHS Sales & Marketing 01242 570288

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