Molson Coors adds best-selling beer brand to UK portfolio

By James Beeson

- Last updated on GMT

Growing popularity: Snow has been the best-selling beer brand by volume in China since 2006
Growing popularity: Snow has been the best-selling beer brand by volume in China since 2006

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Molson Coors UK & Ireland has announced it has secured a partnership agreement with Chinese brewer China Resources Snow Beer (CRSB).

The deal will give Molson Coors UK the exclusive rights in the on and off-trade to the sales, distribution and customer marketing of Snow; the best-selling beer brand by volume in China (since 2006) and globally (since 2008).

Snow first entered the Chinese market in 1994 at the Shenyang Brewery in the north-east Chinese province of Liaoning. In the years that followed, Snow has made a meteoric rise nationally and internationally to become the world’s best-selling beer brand.

World beers in demand

The introduction of Snow bolsters Molson Coors’ growing strength in the world beers category in the UK – a category valued at £320m and growing at 11.5% year on year, according to Neilson data.

Molson Coors hopes that Snow, a premium 5% ABV lager available in a 330ml bottle, will increase the company’s presence in the ethnic restaurant sector, alongside Cobra and Singha, but is also expected to feature in the on-trade.

To mark its entry into the UK market, Snow has been rebranded and relabelled. The new label features traditional Chinese characters and imagery and is designed to make a strong visual impact on shelves and in fridges.

Diversifying consumer tastes

The distribution deal applies to the UK and Ireland, and Snow will continue to be brewed in China and imported to the UK.

Molson Coors UK & Ireland managing director Phil Whitehead said: “Consumers’ tastes are continuing to diversify, which makes the beer market more exciting than ever. As drinkers become increasingly knowledgeable about beer, they demand greater choice to allow them to explore a range of flavours and styles.

“At Molson Coors, we believe this is a reflection of the general societal shift towards spending on experiences and, in part, the continued food revolution that has been taking place in the UK over the past 10 to 15 years.”

Related topics: Beer

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