Real cider Savanna gains in popularity
Dutch visitors charmed by Savanna’s “dry but you can drink it” cider during the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup ™, can now find the familiar clear bottle with jaunty green typeface on their shelves at home. So too can Britons, the world’s largest consumers of cider, with major supermarket chains stocking the famous brand, along with over 500 pubs and bars in the UK.
You can also spot it in some German shops and in specialist stores in Australia, as well as parts of Africa. Savanna, now the third biggest cider brand globally, is getting noticed more widely for other reasons too. It recently came home with the only gold medal in its class on Singapore’s 2010 Beerfest Asia, where it was up against a range of cider offerings from all over the world.
In South Africa, according to Kay Pillay, spokesperson for the makers of Savanna, it remains a front-ranker with cider the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage, outpacing the growth in beer, wines, spirits and flavoured alcoholic beverages.
“South Africans are cottoning onto what constitutes a genuine cider taste even though in the domestic market, there has been some public confusion as to what the authentic article is. This is because several apple-flavoured ales have been masquerading as the real deal. In the case of a genuine cider, the inimitably refreshing taste is derived from the fermentation of real apple juice, not by flavouring other alcoholic drinks with apple flavours. While consumers may not be aware of the technicalities involved in identifying a true cider, they are nevertheless voting with their palates if we are to judge by the pace at which local cider sales are growing.”
He said the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of South Africa had recently ruled against the producers of an apple ale that had been misleadingly packaged to create the impression of being a cider. “Several high-profile industry players have entered the market with malt-based drinks given an apple flavour that they are trying to pass off as authentic ciders. These are generally cheaper to produce than ciders and so manufacturers try to undercut real ciders on price.
“Despite these cynical attempts to abuse consumer trust, South Africans continue to purchase a brand like Savanna in large part because of its authentic apple taste.”
He urged consumers to look out for the word “cider” on the label. “If it isn’t there, it isn’t a cider.”
To qualify as a cider, in accordance with South Africa’s Liquor Products Act, Act 60 of 1989, products must be made from the juice of apples or pears. While it is permissible to replace up to 25% of the apple juice with pear juice and still market the beverage as a cider, Savanna contains no pear juice at all.
DATE: AUGUST 10, 2010
QUERIES: KAY PILLAY, DISTELL RTD SEGMENT DIRECTOR (021) 809 7000 or 082 822 5822
HEIDI BARTIS, DISTELL COMMUNICATION MANAGER (021) 809 8005 or 082 885 8520
TESSA DE KOCK/MARLISE POTGIETER, DKC (021) 422 2690