CCA is returning to the Australian beer and cider market

CCA is returning to the Australian beer and cider market

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has signed a “long-term exclusive” agreement with The Boston Beer Co to distribute its Samuel Adams brand in Australia.  

The deal, announced in CCA's second-half trading update today (4 November), will start from the middle of next month. It coincides with the company's return to the Australian beer and cider market after two years away and follows tie-ups with Molson Coors and C&C Group, unveiled in August

“With just over a month left until CCA re-enters the beer and cider market in Australia, we are ready to hit the ground running with a great portfolio of beer and cider brands,” CCA managing director Terry Davis said.

CCA will take over Samuel Adams distibution in Australia from BID (Beer Importers and Distributors), a CCA spokesperson told just-drinks.

In today's announcement, CCA also said it has developed its own products, including Alehouse, an on-premise only premium draught beer in both mid and full strength, and Pressman’s cider, an Australian craft cider.

CCA's planned re-entry into the beer sector in Australia was delayed in 2011 after it agreed to stay out of the market when it sold its stake in Pacific Beverages. This came about in the shake-up over SABMiller's acquisition of Foster's Group

In its trading update for the four months to October, CCA said consumer demand in the Australian non-grocery channel “has been more subdued than expected”. However, in the country's grocery channel, carbonated beverages have returned to growth. Meanwhile, “positive momentum has continued in New Zealand,” the company said.

CCA has reduced staff in its New Zealand unit by about 10% since last year. In first-half results in August, the group said the cuts had helped its New Zealand business bounce back from a 12% operating profits drop in 2012 to a 10% EBIT increase in H1.