Asda has become the latest big supermarket chain to succumb to the taste of Thistly Cross cider, made at South Belton farm, Dunbar.
Thistly Cross cider has secured a £150,000 contract with Asda to stock five varieties of its heritage ciders in 56 stores across Scotland for the rest of the year.
In 2008 Ian Rennie and Peter Stuart joined forces to make cider at South Belton, and after starting small at farmers markets, “the best market research money couldn’t buy”, their cider range can now be found in Waitrose, Sainsbury, Aldi, Morrisons, Tesco, and now Asda, plus a wide range of smaller shops, garden centres, pubs hotels etc.
Its popularity is starting to spread worldwide and cider drinkers in the USA, Estonia, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Finland, Poland and Australia can now get a taste of Thistly original (7.2%), traditional (4.4%) real strawberry, real ginger and whisky cask (6.9%) ciders.
From pressing locally grown apples and strawberries, to achieving the smooth Thistly Cross flavour by fermenting with Champagne yeast then maturing for six months, it’s all about the taste.
“We’re still small but growing fast, always aiming high but keeping our core values at heart; quality is never compromised,” is the company promise. And thanks to the sales of their farmhouse cider Thistly Cross has increased its workforce to 14 and doubled in size over the last year.
Julia Rennie, Thistly Cross company director, said: “We are delighted to have secured our first listing with Asda.
“Our cider is made in Scotland from the finest quality fruits, so it’s great to see that Asda is continuing to invest in providing a range of products full of Scottish provenance and taste.”
Brian O’Shea, Asda’s regional buying manager for Scotland, said: “The Thistly Cross cider products are premium quality and will give customers a new and local choice.
“Feedback from everyone who has tried the new lines has been incredibly positive so we look forward to working with the business closely and hopefully increasing the range of products available in–store in due course.”