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Abstract

Hard apple ciders have been a growing segment of alcoholic beverage consumption and, as of 2019, there were 1,145 cider makers in the U.S. (Cyder Market 2019). Hard cidermaking facilities are called cideries. Cideries may use apple juice that is purchased, apples purchased and pressed into juice, or apples grown on-site then pressed into juice to make the hard cider. Hence, some cideries grow apples on-site to make their cider, while others purchase juice or apples. Cider is not brewed like beer; rather, it is fermented using a process similar to making wine. Like wineries or breweries, cideries can constitute an agritourism destination. For example, wine trails have been used to tie winery visits with those to nearby attractions, services and accommodations (Che & Wargenau, 2011). As noted, cideries could also serve as attractions in concert with rural landscapes and other nearby attractions, services and accommodations (Smith and Lal 2017). In addition to the cider-making experience, visitors could also have the opportunity to visit orchards where the cider apples are produced. While some other states have a well-developed hard cider industry, the industry in Tennessee is just beginning. The state currently has 12 cider makers (Cyder Market 2019). New York, California, Michigan, Washington and Oregon have the largest number of cider producers (Cyder Market 2019). Given that the cider industry is emerging in Tennessee, little market information exists about preferences by consumers in the state regarding hard apple ciders or tourism visits to cideries. The industry could potentially benefit from information regarding Tennessee consumer preferences for cider and cidery services. The overall goal of this research is to develop a greater understanding of the Tennessee market for hard apple cider and to explore ways to facilitate the growth of the state’s emerging hard cider industry. The information from this study should be of interest to entrepreneurs and businesses that are interested in beginning or expanding hard cider-making enterprises in Tennessee. The objectives of this study are to provide market information about Tennessee consumers’ views on visiting cideries in the state, the distances they would be willing to travel to visit a cidery, their expenditures at cideries, what services/amenities they view as important when they visit cideries, and the factors that might influence their purchases of hard ciders at cideries.

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