Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Education and Human Services


Nutrition and Food Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Douglas Murray

Committee Member

Renata Blumberg

Committee Member

Pankaj Lal


Hard cider is a newly emerging niche industry in apple-growing regions of the country. The growing popularity of artisan and local products offers a new opportunity for heritage products, like hard cider in the Northeast, to gain momentum in the alcoholic beverage and tourism industries. By finding the connection between the consumer experience and local product tourism, this study strives to understand the expanding craft beverage movement and hard cider’s place within this movement, and how it may affect heritage product promotion. This study looks specifically at the Hudson Valley region in New York State. With its fertile land, easy access to major cities, and recent legislative changes (Farm Cidery Law of 2013), Hudson Valley orchards hold the potential to encourage the growth and popularity of craft beverages, hard cider, and rural tourism to improve the areas economic stance as well as lay the foundation for other similar rural areas in the United States. In this study, seven hard cider producers were visited in the Hudson Valley region. Three hundred and five customer surveys were distributed, collected, and analyzed, eleven employee interviews were held, and observations were recorded at each site visit. Results found that the most important motivational factors influencing consumers to visit an area featuring hard cider production were to spend time with family/friends, for fun, to experience something new, to support small business, to support local business, and to support craft/artisan producers. The experiential factors found that operators could capitalize on to increase the number of visitors and ensure repeat visits were to experience something new, to taste new ciders, to taste ciders specific to the Hudson Valley area, to experience an artisan product, and to increase knowledge of flavors. The hard cider was found to be on average between 21-25 years old, single, white, highly educated, and high earning; willing to travel; puts great value into the experience of tourism; and inherently believes artisan products are of higher quality as shown through their willingness to pay premium costs for artisan and local products.

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Nutrition Commons