Apple cider project gets even sweeter

After a successful season increasing distribution of Reinhart’s Red Apple Light Cider into LCBOs across the province, Reinhart’s Foods is looking forward to even more exciting ventures for the brand in the year ahead.

According to Scott Singer, general manager and third-generation family member of Reinhart Foods, the hard cider maintained a Top 5 Ontario sales performance for most of 2018 while sales were doubled from the launch year of 2017.

“We are continuing to grow the Reinhart’s brand with more news to come in the spring,” noted Singer.

It is the first light beverage of its kind in the Canadian hard cider category and is made using 100 per cent Ontario-grown apples. The product is the result of a close collaboration between the research team at Niagara College’s Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre and Reinhart Foods Ltd., well known and respected for its vinegars and baking ingredients.

While Reinhart had experience in liquid-based manufacturing and fermentation, the company did not have the necessary capabilities or equipment to develop a high-end commercially-marketable hard apple cider beverage, so they turned to the CFWI Innovation Centre for their expertise.

Thanks to funding by a College and Community Innovation Enhancement grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the team, which included students and faculty, handled everything from product development, competitive and sensory analysis, and quality control, to knowledge transfer in providing final recipe and process for making the cider at Reinhart’s production site in Stayner, Ont.

A key benefit to the lower alcohol is being able to better showcase the pure apple taste, with ripe, fresh red and golden apple flavours, explains NC’s Gavin Robertson, the faculty research lead for the Reinhart project, and instructor with the NC Teaching Winery. “It’s a satisfying achievement for the whole team and an example of the ways in which NC’s Research & Innovation department is able to contribute to Ontario enterprise.”

For more information on food and beverage innovation projects, click here.