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Sweden’s Rekorderlig targets SA’s changing tastes

The South African cider market — the world’s second-largest after the UK — is dominated by the likes of Distell’s Hunters and Savanna ranges of apple ciders.

Rekorderlig, a pear-based cider, sees itself as competing rather with fellow Swedish brand and global competitor, Kopparberg, as well as Everson’s Cider’s pear range. Ross Young, regional director for Africa at Rekorderlig SA, says  while the South African cider market is dominated by local apple ciders, “the cider category as a whole is actually being driven globally by the fruit cider category”.

Rekorderlig launched its imported pear-based “fruit cider” ranges in SA last month, including strawberry-lime, wild berries, and pear flavours.

Young says a 500ml bottle would typically sell for between R45 and R52 in restaurants and bars, and between R28 and R30 at retailers — placing it in the premium category.

The “premiumisation” of beverages is a global trend which spirits companies and beer brewers such as SABMiller are actively targeting. In SA, Castle Lite is one of SABMiller’s key premiumisation brands.

“Our focus is SA between now and the end of the year and for the better part of 2015. But there is a niche for these kinds of drinks in Africa, where we’re seeing a lot of premiumisation happening,” says Young.

While Rekorderlig’s focus in Africa was on SA, there were opportunities in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia, where other beverage companies were starting to offer more premium products, Young adds.