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Demand 'Rosie' for Westons Cider

Stowford Press producer H Weston & Sons is investing in new kegs and storage tanks following an increase in demand for cider, backed by a £1.25 million finance package from Santander Corporate & Commercial.

The Much Marcle based cider and perry producer is a family run business that dates back to the 1880’s. The company has benefited from a significant uplift in demand in recent years, as cider has regained popularity across both the UK and the wider international market. To meet this rise in demand, the company has invested heavily in its manufacturing capabilities since 2010, and is now acquiring additional storage tanks and kegs to meet the increased production, which is three-times higher than in 2009.

The company now has capacity to produce up to 20,000 bottles of cider per hour and the new tanks and kegs will provide capacity to store up to 50 million litres of cider.

Westons work with local farmers to source the majority of its ingredients and has long term contracts in place with many growers, helping to support the local community. Increased demand has seen the company grow by 40% in recent years, buoyed by contracts with major customers and is available in over 10,000 pubs throughout the UK.

Major customers include supermarkets Waitrose and Tesco, and pub operators Mitchell & Butlers and Fullers Smith & Turner. While the majority of its products are sold in the UK, where the company has around a 5% share of the market, Westons has also benefited from an increase in demand from abroad. It now exports to more than 40 countries including Finland, Germany, Australia, Thailand, Singapore and China. 

Helen Thomas, MD, says: “This latest round of investment to our business follows a significant period of growth for Westons. We are delighted to see our products, steeped in their 130 year history, rise in popularity both at home and abroad. This not only is great for us, but enables us to increase our businesses with our local farmers and suppliers, strengthening our relationships within the local community”.

New look for Old Rosie 

In August, Old Rosie, Weston Cider's 7%abv flagship traditional unfiltered cloudy cider matured in oak vats, was given a new look: Old Rosie is the name given to the producer’s 1921 Aveling and Porter steam roller and the new steam cloud motif on the bottles and pumps serves to anchor Old Rosie cloudy cider to this original inspiration. The colour palate of burnt orange, sunset yellow and deep red was chose to “evoke a time for relaxation and divulgence and underpin the rural Herefordshire provenance of the cider”.

10 December 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor