Cidra: The Lebanese cider brand on a mission

Cidra: The Lebanese cider brand on a mission

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In a country that is rich in apple agriculture, mastering apple cider craft is an art in itself.  Apple cider is loaded with health benefits, among which, it can lower blood sugar, stimulate weight loss, and improve blood lipids.

HN spoke to Mark Sadaka, general manager of Cidra to know more about this socially-aware initiative.

Mark Sadaka

Cidra is a micro craft cidery based in Kfour Kessrouan that produces apple cider and sparkling apple juice. Its products are all natural, gluten-free, vegan, and have no added sugars. “With one aim in mind, and with the desire to do something meaningful and have a positive impact in our country, the idea of Cidra was born,” Sadaka explained. The company’s main mission is to support local Lebanese apple farmers: It purchases non-marketable apples straight from the source and provides farmers with the necessary education to take care of their apple orchards.

Sadaka explained that prior to kicking off their project, they led a deep-dive market research to understand how hard the journey of local apple farmers is, especially with no protective measures imposed by law, which has led to non-favorable competition with apple importers. “Tens of thousands of tons of [local] apples, if not more, were thrown away each year because nobody was buying them,” he said. 

Cidra’s idea was conceived following that research and those discoveries, with an one objective: To support local farmers and yield a unique Lebanese drink. 

Cidra produces three ranges of products: Cidra Dry, a completely fermented all natural apple cider which contains 6.8% abv; . It also produces Cidra Ssweet, a semi-fermented apple cider which has not been back-sweetened and has retained its sweetness from the natural sugar of the apples with a 4.5% abv;, and Cidra Sparkling Apple Juice, an alcohol-free and carbonated twist on apple juice, bringing out the apples’ natural sweetness with a fizzy feeling in the mouth. “We do however have plans for the future to expand our company and diversify our products to go into other types of alcohol.” 

The economic crisis Lebanon is going through , has made it increasingly difficult for several sectors to survive, especially the F&B sector. However, Sadaka believes that this crisis has created an opportunity for Lebanese consumers to start focusing more on local products. “This should have always been the case. We should always support local production first.” He continued: “[In our case] by increasing the consumption, we can ensure that we would be able to buy more apples and help more farmers across the country.”

In 2019, Cidra purchased 44 tons of apples to produce around 35,000 bottles, and Sadaka strongly believes that Cidra can compete on an international level.

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