Inch's was the name of a cider producer based in Winkleigh, Devon. It is now a brand owned by Bulmers.
Samuel Inch began his cider making company towards the end of World War I. It continued for many years in Winkleigh, with a great national following for its traditional Devon cider, but just couldn't keep up with the more modern factory production levels of other commercial cider makers. In the ninetees, HP Bulmer announced that it would acquire Inch's Cider Company Limited for an aggregate cash consideration of £23.3 million, including the repayment of indebtedness of £4.8 million.
In the financial year ending 30 September 1995, Inch's sold some 8 million gallons of cider, providing 7 per cent share of the UK market. In the year ended 30 September 1995 Inch's reported operating profit of £0.8 million on turnover of £25.6 million. At 30 September 1995, Inch's had net assets of £1.0 million.
The acquisition will increase Bulmer's market share in the Cash and Carry trade where Inch's is market leader. Cash and Carry accounts for 70% of Inch's sales. Inch's leading brand, White Lightning will provide Bulmer with a strong presence in the white cider sector, which is the fastest growing segment of the UK cider market.
HP Bulmer said it would maintain Inch's cider production at Winkleigh in Devon and integrate the administrative and selling functions at Bulmer's head office in Hereford. However, in order to save £1 million, Bulmers ceased production at the site, putting 47 out of work and ensuring all the cider making equipment was removed, sold or destroyed before they left.
David Bridgman, the chief cider maker at Inch's decided to carry on cider making on a smaller scale, and,with some of his family bought part of the old Inch's site to continue production. Today it continues as Winkleigh Cider Company where they produce "Sam's Cider" a cider dedicated to Sam Inch.