Wednesday, 22 July 2009

A super opportunity?

Interesting news that InBev are considering selling off the Tennent’s beer brands and the associated Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow. They want to concentrate on international brands and divest those that only have a regional appeal. Now, Tennent’s is hardly the first name on the beer lover’s lips, but Tennent’s Lager, first brewed as early as 1885, still accounts for over half the Scottish lager market, and the notorious Tennent’s Super remains the tramp’s preferred route to oblivion. But it could be a unique opportunity for an ambitious entrepreneur to grab a substantial share of the British beer market. On the other hand, with the Scottish Government doing their utmost to put brewers and distillers out of business with their anti-drink crusade, it could be a poisoned chalice.

9 comments:

  1. I spotted this on Sunday. It's still a good opportunity. Maybe the Chinese will buy it and make Tsing Tao in Glasgow?

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  2. Agreed - there is a lot of potential there, and in reality Salmond will find it difficult to wean the Scots off their love of booze.

    I wonder if the likes of Marstons's and Greene King might be sniffing.

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  3. An article in the Scotsman specifically mentions Marstons and Greene King as possible contenders, though neither are saying anything. But InBev will immediately start pushing Stella and Budweiser in place of Tennent's in all its existing arrangements and the buyer may find sales in the on-trade slump quite dramatically.

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  4. This is interesting. Will they also sell off Boddingtons?

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  5. Lager is a branded product requiring heavy brand investment. Most cooking lager aficionado’s and enthusiasts like me shun any brand that has not advertised heavily on the telly. Regional brewers for instance that insist on brewing their own lager, usually have pubs I wouldn’t enter. Those that serve Fosters and Carling are acceptable. Carling has invested in the brand in Scotland, sponsoring the shirts of the big soccer teams. Tennants is in decline in its own backyard, and doesn’t have the glamour to be an aspirational brand in England. Who wants a lager that evokes Scotland, when one can drink a Belgian lager evoking the image of the French peasantry? Bavaria has a strong lager tradition, and for an Anglicised lager tradition there is also Australia. Despite the removal of XXXX, I expect VB to become an emerging beer brand in the UK. Tennants? No ta,

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  6. Pretty good analysis from Barm and CL though Tennents is a must have in Scotland. You hardly see a bar without it anywhere and the trade in Scotland is nowhere near as tied as in the rest of the UK. Carling, despite its football sponsorship is still a rare beast in Scotland.

    Greene King and Marstons have some good synergies here (as well as thousands of pubs) and I wouldn't rule either out. And it is a big modern brewery, well invested in.

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  7. I think it would be naive to assume that Tennent's market share in Scotland is unassailable. We've all seen once iconic brands come and go, and nobody really knows what will happen to Tennent's without the InBev marketing machine behind it. The trade may not be as tied, but you can still tell nine times out of ten where a pub gets its beer from -- just look for the Stella taps and bottles of Bud and Staropramen.

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  8. My view of it as a declining cash cow could well be wrong. This puts it in the top ten.

    http://community.brandrepublic.com/blogs/commentcentral/archive/2009/03/12/top-50-beer-brands.aspx

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  9. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8223945.stm

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