Well how about them apples? A new report has found that cider has become as popular as lager in the UK -- which used to be the national drink of choice, aside from tea.
According to a market research report released February 29 by Mintel, 47 percent of British consumers said they drank cider, compared to 46 percent of Brits who identified themselves as lager drinkers.
Ten years ago, the percentage of regular cider drinkers was 42 percent. The majority of cider drinkers in the UK are men.
The beverage is particularly popular among younger drinkers, analysts said, and has been stealing consumers away from the wine and ‘alcopops' category, bottled cocktails and fruity-alcohol type drinks US consumers may know more commonly as wine coolers.
The sparkling new figures could be due in part to the steep decline in beer sales which has lost £2.2 billion (€2.6 billion) in revenue between 2006 and 2011 because of an ailing pub industry. Since 2008, the report points out that pubs have been shuttering their doors in record numbers.
Similarly, wine has also seen a decline in popularity, dropping from 66 percent of drinkers in 2007 to 58 percent in 2011, giving the cider category a keen advantage: between 2006 and 2011, volume sales increased by 24 percent to £2.4 billion (€2.9 billion).
The biggest reasons why cider is so popular among consumers? It's refreshing and sweet, says the over-35 crowd; provides a switch-up from beer; and -- particularly important for women drinkers -- is less ‘gassy' than lager, respondents said.
Consumers under the age of 35, meanwhile, said they were most attracted to the beverage's sweet factor.
Some of the most popular brands include Magners Irish Cider, Strongbow, Swedish brand Kopparberg and Stella Artois Cidre.
When it comes to the volume consumed, however, the lager market is still considerably larger than cider.