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Thatchers cider makes move on US

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn has signed a three-year deal with Thatchers to distribute its Somerset cider stateside.

Images of Thatchers visitors from the USA paulbox© 07976299870
(L-R) Martin Thatcher and Dan Deluca,Innis & Gunn US MD at Myrtle Farm in Somerset.

The deal will see the family-owned cider producer team up with Innis & Gunn and enter the lucrative US market for the first time in its 110-year history.

Its flagship cider, Thatchers Gold, will be its first product to launch in the US with Innis & Gunn taking responsibility for its marketing and distribution through its US subsidiary Innis & Gunn USA.

Dougal Sharp, founder and CEO of Innis & Gunn said: “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.”

Sharp 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.”

The entire cider/perry category in the US is less than 1% the size of overall beer volume sales, however the category has seen positive growth over the last three years with cider volume and value sales increasing by 64% and 69% respectively, albeit from a small base, in 2013 alone.

Established in 2010, Innis & Gunn’s US subsidiary represents the brewer’s portfolio in 20 states with its beer volumes achieving year-on-year growth of 32% in 2013.

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.”

Thatchers Gold is crafted at Thatchers’ Myrtle Farm in Somerset, where the Thatcher family has been tending its orchards since 1904.

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