Magners and Strongbow, two of the biggest cider brands in Britain, are beginning to show a recovery after their 'Buzz' scores were hit following Chancellor Alistair Darling's budget report included a ten percent tax duty hike on cider.
On March 24th, Darling announced that his budget would include a ten percent tax duty hike on cider, on top of the usual inflation rises. This announcement had an almost immediate negative impact on the brand perception of Magners and Strongbow. Magner's 'Buzz' score fell from 8.8 on March 23rd to 4.3 on April 6th, and Strongbow's 'Buzz' score dropped from 4.1 on 22nd March to -2.9 on April 6th.
However, on April 7th, it was announced that the tax rise would be frozen until after the election takes place, but would be reinstated if Labour win a fourth consecutive term in office. As news spread that cider will temporarily escape a tax rise, 'Buzz' scores have shown a promising recovery. By April 12th Magners had returned to 6.4 and Strongbow had risen to -0.3.
However, fears in the cider industry will remain that should Labour pull off a shock victory, as both cider drinkers and brewers will be hit hard by the reinstatement of the tax rise.