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March 17, 2017 Boucherville - Cider is increasingly "trendy" among consumers. The cider-farmers rejoice, increase their production and buy orchards.
Quebec is even heading towards a record production of cider reaching 5.2 million liters in 2020, according to Martin Cloutier, a professor of management and technology at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). By comparison, Quebec produced 3.2 million liters in 2015, and nearly 2 million liters in 2010.
At the SAQ, sales of ready-to-drink ciders jumped 56% from 2015 to 2016. "A higher than average growth in products sold to the SAQ," says Stéphane Denis, Products Origin Québec to the Crown Corporation. The organization is even considering creating kiosks specifically reserved for cider in some of its stores.
The cider producer Michel Jodoin is particularly fired by the popularity of cider among the young people of the millennium generation. "You see the enthusiasm among the 30 years and under. They discover the cider and consume it in the bars, raises the president of the Cidriculteurs artisans du Québec. Cider is in . He maintains that this enthusiasm goes far beyond the borders of the Beautiful Province. Cider is popular all over North America. In Oregon, for example, the popularity of cider is such that producers diversify their product line with hops and others aged in whiskey barrels," says Emily Ritchie, director of the Northwest Cider Association.
Bushels of apples!
In Quebec, apple volume for artisanal cider production has increased 88% over the past 10 years, from 91,178 bulls in 2006-2007 to 171,106 bulls for the 2014-2015 production year. These figures exclude the thousands of apple minots used by the eight industrial cider processors located in Quebec. UQAM professor Martin Cloutier believes that cider production could put pressure on apple stocks, as seen in the United Kingdom and some US states. "There is a shortage of apples for making cider. In Quebec, it could become an issue and it's time to think about it," says the professor.
Michel Jodoin does not share this concern. He pointed out that cereal farmers have been preparing for this rising demand for three years. "We are several producers to have purchased orchards lately, and others are renewing old orchards. Since Quebec is a country of apples, there will be no shortage. But the supply of apples will nevertheless be a challenge that could have an impact on prices," he explains.
Cider comes back from afar ...
Falling into disgrace in the late 1970s because of quality problems, cider gradually returned from the late 1980s. Robert Demoy of Cidrerie du Minot was one of the first artisans of this renaissance. "When we founded the [Quebec Craftsmen's Association] association, the cider context was very difficult," he recalls. We had no market, it was dead."
By making quality products, the cider-makers have managed to gradually revive the interest of consumers. "Internationally, there is not a year when we are not mad at the range of tastes of Quebec ciders. It is a beautiful wealth that we leave to our next generation. And as a friend cidriculteur said: "Long live Quebec cider!", says Michel Jodoin.