Tsingtao signs up Halewood International

Chinese brewer Tsingtao has appointed Halewood International as its sole UK distributor, replacing distribution deals with Westmill Foods and Global Brands.

The brewer is planning to drive sales as interest in China and Chinese culture grows during the Beijing Olympics next year.

Tsingtao, which is an official Olympic sponsor, hopes to become the leading imported Asian beer brand in the UK within the next five years.

Halewood plans to link the 4.7 per cent abv lager to Chinese food in multiple grocers, with a long-term aim of making it part of UK consumers’ main imported premium beer repertoire.

Halewood chairman and chief executive John Halewood said: “Tsingtao is synonymous with Chinese restaurant culture and is loved by a large loyal consumer base in the UK. We believe we can capitalise on the product’s heritage, quality and strong but latent usage.

“We are looking to make a significant investment to drive brand awareness and recognition as part of a broader strategy to grow distribution and sales in other channels.”

Tsingtao’s international headquarters general manager Wang Zhiguo said: “We have consolidated all distribution for the UK and Ireland to enable us to exploit the near universal distribution we enjoy in the ethnic out-of-home sector as a platform for much wider sales and distribution growth.”