Marketing push accelerates Magners growth in GB

Financial results from Ireland’s C&C Group show that a new marketing campaign for Magners helped get the cider brand back into respectable growth in the past year.

The Hold True campaign, launched in spring 2016, brought about an 11% increase in sales of all Magners products in the GB market during the year to the end of February.

When it revealed its results for the previous financial year 12 months ago Magners was edging into growth at just +1% for the year.

C&C hopes to build on its growth with a distribution and trade marketing deal for the brand – along with Blackthorn and Chaplin & Corks – with AB-Inbev, which came into force on March 1.

The Magners firm already handles AB-Inbev brands, including Stella Artois, Becks and Corona, in Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

C&C said competitor brand activity in the UK cider market had eased but range rationalisation by major retailers posed a new challenge.

Chief executive Stephen Glancey said: “The double-digit volume momentum behind the Magners brand in the UK provided the right foundation to extend our distribution partnership with AB-Inbev.

“The rationale for expanding the relationship is compelling for both parties, allowing each other to play to our route to market strengths, backed by a combined high quality beer and cider portfolio.

“This partnership has the potential to drive volume and value in Magners for years to come as the category rationalises and distribution synergies are delivered.”

C&C reported a 0.4% fall in operating profits for the year at €95 million on turnover that dropped 6.9% to €559.5 million. It attributed the fall to declines in wholesale, own-label and US business.

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