“The uniqueness of one apple versus another.” Exploring producer perspectives of hard cider in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States

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Taylor & Francis


Hard cider is growing in popularity throughout the United States (US). Though many scholars have investigated quality and trends in the expanding US cider industry, still little is known about cider producers’ opinions of the products that they make. How do American cider producers value and emplace value onto cider as the industry grows and competes with the broader alcoholic beverage market? This study explored producer perceptions of American hard cider by employing 21 semi-structured interviews with cider-makers throughout Virginia, Vermont, and New York – three leading cider producing states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic US. Interview sessions were subject to reflexive thematic analysis for themes related to preference, consumption, and cider-making. Results suggest that cider producers broadly prefer complex flavors and cider made with cider-specific apples. Yet, cider producers ascribe to a diverse spectrum of values related to the cider-making process, agriculture, and business goals, which influence their preferences and the experiences that they create for other consumers. This research also identifies a chasm in how American “cider” is being constructed and valued, offering broad implications for the domestic cider and apple agriculture industries as well as a template for bridging the divide between producer- and consumer-based food studies.



Cider, Producer, Apples, Sensory quality