The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New report investigates New Zealand’s path to a billion-dollar premium cider export industry

Cider Apples New Zealand Limited has released a ‘Roadmap’ report that investigates how a premium cider industry could be developed in New Zealand.

The Roadmap, supported by economic analysis, charts a course towards achieving a billion-dollar export sector within 15 years.

Industry experts John Powell – a seasoned cider maker – and Allan White – a leading apple breeder – collaborated on the report.

Together, they co-founded Cider Apples NZ to spearhead initiatives aimed at realising this ambitious vision.

This initiative focuses on creating high-value export opportunities by leveraging the country’s renowned agricultural expertise and optimising the use of non-premium agricultural land.

“We envision a future where New Zealand premium cider stands at the forefront of global markets, celebrated for its quality and authenticity,” says Powell.

Today, the global cider market, though currently the smallest among fermented alcoholic beverages, shows promising growth trends.

According to the Weston’s 2024 Cider Report, global consumption exceeds 2.6 billion litres, with a notable shift towards premiumisation echoing trends seen in wine and craft beer.

Powell says the success of New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc and aromatic hops has inspired industry leaders to turn their focus to cider, poised to capitalise on consumer demand for unique flavours and authentic provenance.

“Globally, premium cider categories are gaining traction as a lower-alcohol alternative to wine, a gluten-free option compared to beer, and due to their high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols,” he says.

“The strongest growth is observed among affluent millennials and Gen-Z consumers seeking sophisticated beverage choices.

“Our cider apple breeding programme is achieving remarkable flavours and aromatics that will resonate with global cider enthusiasts.”

To achieve the projected $1 billion export milestone, White says approximately 2,232 hectares of cider apple orchards would be needed, producing 125 million litres of cider annually, assuming an average export price of $8 per litre.

“The roadmap confirms substantial potential for New Zealand’s premium cider industry.

“We are actively seeking expressions of interest from apple growing businesses and beverage producers to work together with Cider Apples New Zealand on a new funding application to progress the roadmap and accelerate sector growth,” says Powell.

The proposed seven-year programme aims to refine six key workstreams, including accelerated cider apple breeding, orchard design, consumer research, industry capability development, regulatory frameworks, and market pathways.

“Developing successful unique cider apple varieties demands a consumer-driven approach. This initiative calls for collaboration between cider makers and apple growers to propel our roadmap forward,” says Powell.

How to catch up with The Shout NZ

Online, updated daily with its own unique content and breaking news.
Our weekly newsletter – free to your inbox! Subscribe here.
We are also on Facebook and Instagram!