UK: THE GAMBLE THAT GAVE CIDER A ROSIER FUTURE - HP BULMER.

UK: THE GAMBLE THAT GAVE CIDER A ROSIER FUTURE - HP BULMER. - A make-or-break decision reversed the decline of Bulmer's, turning it from niche player to national brand leader and recession-beater.

by Wilfred Peters.

A make-or-break decision reversed the decline of Bulmer's, turning it from niche player to national brand leader and recession-beater.

Only a handful of British companies succeeded in both surviving and prospering throughout the dark days of the recent recession. Of those which have reported increased profits every year between 1990 and 1993, most are fairly predictable - several multiple grocers and food manufacturers, a clutch of chemists and pharmaceutical specialists, a holiday tour operator, a security printer, and a small, select group of the more shrewdly managed conglomerates. But there is one real surprise in the list. While the rest of the drinks trade - beer, spirits, even wine - has put up a distinctly lacklustre performance, the long-neglected cidermakers of Hereford have been going from strength to strength.

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