An interesting year for the business, for all businesses, and the world as a whole. As 2020 comes to a close we have taken stock of our results and we are here with a quick summary and our thoughts on the future.
Comments from the Director
Whilst reviewing this year's results I was hoping to see a clear disparity between trade and retail sales, to reflect the pub closures and our increased focus on direct-delivery. Unfortunately the results weren't as clear cut as expected - making this review all the harder! We had a very strong start to the year and in comparison our trade sales have increased despite Covid - owing to a strong start to 2020 and that the business was undergoing a re-brand in 2019 which took longer than expected to complete. As a business we record our retail sales as sales from events and markets as well as direct deliveries through the post. With the cancellation of all of our 2020 events (including the Twilight Market) and the stop-start national lockdowns, both areas of the business were equally effected.
What is interesting to see is that there is a clear demand for British craft ciders overseas. With the dire triple entente of Covid, the cider off-season, and Brexit, cidermakers are having to think outside of the box to remain viable. As a business we are hoping that following Brexit there may be an opportunity to raise ciders status in the international community in the hopes that it may become a premium British export. Hopped cider specifically appeals more to the beer familiar consumers of the continent and beyond.
To safeguard against a potentially condemned on-trade, we are looking to expand our own direct-sales capability by opening up a craft cider bar in our home city of Bristol. The on-trade as it was pre-covid has been very slow to react to upcoming trends, and with tied pubs becoming the norm, there just hasn't been the flexibility required to attract the younger more discerning drinker. It is our vision that craft brands pioneer a new vision of the city centre drinkery - where good food and live music are rotated weekly, supported by new and exciting drinks concepts without having to anonymously supply the same stale beverages for the purposes of profit alone.
As always, the majority of our spending goes into creating the best drinks possible. In this very brief snapshot, marketing also encompasses events - usually this area would be proportionally larger, but it was a business decision of ours to avoid overspending to weather the inability to sell to trade.
In terms of new product development and existing product improvement - we are incredibly happy where Dolores is at the moment, picking up three separate awards and almost universally positive reviews (please continue to use Untappd to give us feedback). The cidergods determine from blend to blend the unavoidable inconsistencies due to the strength of the seasons summer and the temperatures of maturation- these are interesting and positive mannerisms that really define craft cider and we wouldn't have it any other way: although the core recipe will remain the same. We are currently developing a limited edition, rotating, 750ml range, in addition to our three cores: Dolores, Idunn, Freya, which we plan on using as a tool to showcase the relationship between cider and the plethora of different hops available. These will not be available wholesale.
In Summary, a confusing year to analyse with a lot of uncertainty ahead. We will be looking to expand our export volumes and will be opening a Bristol tap house to rejuvenate a stale on-trade and rely less on the current system. We are hoping to return with the Twilight Market, if possible, during Summer 2021 - and will have an exciting limited range of 750ml hopped ciders for you to enjoy.
In the cidergods we trust.