Coke to exit Australian beer market and sell Feral

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Australia (CCEP) has announced that the company will be exiting from its production, sale and distribution of beer and apple cider products in Australia.

The decision means that CCEP is now looking for potential buyers for Feral Brewing Company, which CCA bought in October 2017.

Vice President & General Manager, Australia, Pacific & Indonesia, Peter West, said CCEP wanted to focus its growth plans in the spirits and alcoholic and non-alcoholic RTD categories, and that exiting the beer and apple cider business, would position them better for that.

“We are very proud of the journey and performance we have had in our beer and cider portfolio after close to two decades. The next growth phase for the portfolio to become a stronger key partner with our customers would require significant over-investment to accelerate scale,” he said.

“As a bottler of iconic brands such as Coca-Cola and Jim Beam, this would come at the expense of focusing our efforts, teams and innovation on our core Spirits, RTD and NARTD portfolios, where we have a much greater ability to drive category growth.

“A move away from beer and apple cider will allow for greater focus for our teams to execute our exciting growth plans in Spirits, RTD and NARTD and enable the future partners of these beer and apple cider brands to continue to accelerate their performance.”

As well as selling Feral, the move means that CCEP current arrangement in Australia with C&C Group will come to an end during the first half of 2022 and its agreement with Molson Coors will not be renewed.

Regarding Feral, West said: “On the back of the double-digit growth our Feral brand has achieved over the last four years and the strong business and brand loyalty the Feral team in WA has built, we are excited about what the future holds for Feral Brewing Company. It’s time for this craft brand, a WA jewel, to stretch its potential under new ownership.”

Rekorderlig and Australian Bitters will continue to be managed in CCEP’s alcohol portfolio alongside its Spirits and RTD brands.

Extracted from The Shout

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