Thistly Cross cider to be sold in 77 Tesco stores

Thistly Cross is currently stocked in Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Waitrose. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Thistly Cross is currently stocked in Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Waitrose. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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ARTISAN cider maker Thistly Cross has won a contract to supply its drinks to 77 Tesco supermarkets in Scotland and is preparing to expand into the Canadian and Russian markets.

The Dunbar-based business – which already sells its produce in Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – will market five of its six ciders in Tesco’s stores.

Thistly Cross, founded in 2008 by East Lothian farmer Ian Rennie and cider maker Peter Stuart, has hired an extra member of staff to cope with the additional work, taking its headcount to seven.

Angus Bell, Tesco’s local category buying manager for Scotland, said: “I was really impressed when I visited the farm recently and I’m delighted we will be stocking them in the majority of our Scottish stores, just in time for that summer sunshine.”

Julie Rennie, key account director at Thistly Cross and Ian’s daughter, added: “The question we get asked most frequently is ‘Where can I buy Thistly Cross?’, so being able to partner with such a well-known retailer as Tesco is another step towards helping consumers get their hands on our cider.”

Tesco will stock the still and sparking versions of the cider, alongside ginger, strawberry and whisky cask varieties.

The strawberries are grown on South Belton farm, near Dunbar, where the cider is made, while the whisky cask version is aged in Scotch casks previously used by the Glenglassaugh distillery at Portsoy in Banffshire.

Thistly Cross is already exported to Australia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong and the United States.

Last year the company joined forces with Broughton Ales and the Scottish Borders Brewery to “bundle” their drinks together in order to promote them to distributors and to pubs.

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