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Cider with rosé: pink cider set to be the sip of the summer

We’ve had the rosé revolution and the pink gin phenomenon, now cider has been given the rose-tinted treatment and pink cider is set to be the sip of the summer.

Angry Orchard Rosé cider gets its rosy hue from the inclusion of a red apple variety in the blend

Among the cider brands turning their drinks pink are Angry Orchard, MillerCoors, Strongbow and Bold Rock, each keen to capitalise on the millennial thirst for all things pink.

Made from six different apple varieties, Angry Orchard’s Rosé Cider is inspired by rosé wine’s light, refreshing, fruity character. It gets its rosy hue from the inclusion of a red apple in the blend, which also lends the cider tart hibiscus notes.

Meanwhile, MillerCoors, Bold Rock and Strongbow’s rosé ciders have an apple base and include ingredients like pears and rose petals to add to the aromatics.

“Rosé is up on the bell curve, it’s a prevalent trend, but it’s not reached its apex,” Ken Harris, managing partner at Cadent Consulting Group, told CNBC.

Rosé sales were up by 40% in the 12 months to 2 December according to Nielsen. At the same time, apple cider sales have stabilised after six years of solid growth.

Cider makers are hoping pink expressions will ignite millennial interest in the category.

“Drinkers are looking for a lower alcohol, refreshing, food friendly product. Cider meets that criteria, so rosé cider is a strategy to woo wine drinkers,” Michelle McGrath, executive director of USACM, told CNBC.

Rosé is rarely out of the headlines at the moment. Last month American rocker Jon Bon Jovi launched a premium rosé called ‘Diving into Hampton Water’ in collaboration with his son Jesse and Languedoc winemaker Gerard Bertrand.

Crispin has also joined the pink cider party

In the summer of 2016, sales of rosé in the UK doubled due to the rise of the frozen rosé cocktail known as ‘frosé’, and the brosé phenomenon of rosé-loving men.

Last April New York importer Biagio Cru Wines & Spirits launched a new pink wine brand called ‘Rosé all day’ from the Pays d’Oc IGP in the Languedoc-Roussillon.

Meanwhile, founders of the ‘Yes Way Rosé’ Instagram account, Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir, launched a $15 Grenache/Syrah rosé from California’s Central Coast called Summer Water in 2015 in collaboration with LA-based direct to consumer wine club Winc.

The popularity of pale pink among millennials is driving trends across a number of industries, from food, wine and spirits to fashion, tech, interiors and furniture.

Earlier this month gin giant Beefeater joined the pink gin party with an expression infused with strawberries.

“I think the popularity of ‘millennial pink’ has driven the pink gin trend to an extent. It has had an influence in fashion, drinks and design. Millennials drink with their eyes,” said Sophie Gallois, managing director of Pernod Ricard’s The Gin Hub.

“I think pink gin will be the big trend of the summer. There is a passion for pink at the moment and we’re confident Beefeater Pink is going to be a success. We’re not just another pink gin – we’ve got a spectacular product,” she added.

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