Carlsberg to wake ‘sleeping giant’ Tetley’s with rebrand and investment

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

New look: Tetley's set for rebrand
New look: Tetley's set for rebrand
Carlsberg-owned Tetley’s will be woken from its slumber with a redesign and new brand focus, bosses have said at a business update today (26 March).

Following the significant revamp of its Carlsberg Export brand, the Danish brewer said it would pump funds into Tetley’s beer in the on and off-trade and also work to realise the potential of other key products in its portfolio.

Tetley's had been somewhat forgotten by Carlsberg in recent years, the business’s UK vice-president of marketing Liam Newton said in response to a question from The Morning Advertiser ​at a spring briefing in London.

“At the moment, we have got a lot of work to do on Tetley's because of the nature of the category, which is in decline,” he said.

“Tetley’s is a bit of a sleeping giant in the portfolio, in that we have perhaps not done much with it in the past five years."

“Our first job is to stabilise what we’re doing in terms of activity and then we’ve got some wider thoughts on innovation.”

New life

Newton would not specify how much was to be spent on the rebrand, what market share it currently had and said the brewer did not have a final growth figure in mind.

“It’s a brand that we have probably underestimated in terms of its potential within our business, but we feel it deserves more love – it’s about trying to breathe new life into it.”

New refreshed branding for the on and off-trade was being rolled out, covering cask, keg and packaged, Newton said.

The brewer acquired former Leeds-based Tetley's in 1998 and closed the facility in 2011, before contracting brewing out to sites in Wolverhampton, Tadcaster and Hartlepool.

Carlsberg is also set to launch a 4.2% ABV unfiltered variant to tap into the trend for hazy beers. The beer will be available across the on-trade and the brewer plans to launch a rotational tap in 400 outlets, allowing operators to guest Carlsberg beers such as Unfiltered and 1883.

Plans were also under way to boost the reach of global beer brands San Miguel, Mahou and Poretti, added Newton.

Recently acquired London Fields was now at comfortable place for the beer giant, following the launch of three new brews, he added.

However, there were no plans to flood the market with new products, instead there would be a focus on building the strength of what was already in the portfolio to ensure the longevity of any new launches, said Newton.

There's a balance

“I don’t think it’s all about innovation,” he explained, “You can get too excited about a shiny new thing – I think there’s a balance [between old and new].”

Brands would receive a new lease of life as a result of UK CEO Julian Momen’s strategy​ to make the UK arm of the business more exciting.

Momen, who stepped into the role from chief financial officer in 2016, has made big changes to the company, including disbanding its distribution arm last year and acquiring London Fields.

“If you think about where we were two years ago, we wouldn’t be able to tell you about [new activity] like this,” he said.

Once in office, Momen made significant changes to the structure of Carlsberg’s UK operations, which resulted in the loss of some roles.

However, he was confident in the direction he was taking the business and claimed employees understood the changes were best for the future of the company.

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