The US soft drink brand Cheerwine is to be launched on the Norwegian market, its first distribution outside the Eastern Time zone.

The cherry-flavoured carbonated brand is also considering a launch across other Scandinavian countries.

"Cheerwine is now available in Oslo, Norway, and it may be available throughout other Scandinavian countries later in 2003," said Mark Ritchie, president of Carolina Beverage Corp, maker of Cheerwine.
Oslo-based American Marketing approached Carolina Beverage in May 2001 about a Cheerwine license and by the end of 2002, the Salisbury-based company was shipping concentrate to Norway. American Marketing is distributing Cheerwine throughout Oslo, the nation's capital.

"We saw this as an opportunity to establish an international business presence with a company that is committed to presenting Cheerwine as a mainstream soft drink," Ritchie said.

Dag Lundeby, general manager and owner of American Marketing, said American soft drinks products are well received in the Scandinavian counties of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

"Our culture is very American," Lundeby said.