Clay explained Asahi UK’s on-trade support would be divided into three main areas: helping customers create a safe environment for customers, providing practical support and innovation in areas such as digital solutions, and preparing for unknowns and adapting accordingly.
“My central message to our customers – and indeed the pub and restaurant-goers who visit and love their venues – is we have a clear plan to help make the new reality the best it can possibly be,” he explained.
“We are committed to supporting the stability and success of the hospitality sector throughout the Covid-19 recovery and we feel strongly the combination of practical measures and innovation will be key to doing so.”
What’s more, ahead of the release of Government guidance for reopening pubs and bars and the expected confirmation of 4 July as the date for trading to resume, Clay added that Asahi has been “proactively preparing” for some time.
“Whether that’s the kick-starting of cask lines at our breweries, detailed demand planning prep in the supply chain, or our dedicated technical teams going into cellars across the land to literally reconnect keg lines and help get venues fighting-fit to go again,” he continued.
“The collaboration and effort across the whole industry has been incredible, both in adjusting to the needs of the lockdown era to keep things moving and in preparing for restart, from grain to glass.”
As reported by The Morning Advertiser, Asahi acquired Fuller’s brewing arm - including its historic Griffin brewery - in a £250m deal in January 2019.
Based in Woking, Surrey, Asahi UK’s portfolio of beer, ale and cider brands includes Asahi Super Dry, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Meantime, Fuller’s London Pride and Cornish Orchards.
Clay added that Asahi had reacted early to the sector shutdown amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, stating: “Ahead of the closure of the on-trade, we launched a range of practical measures to support our customers with an immediate commitment to facilitate order cancellations, to credit unused keg and cask stock, and to offer additional financial support measures.
“These may seem like relatively small things, but we should never underestimate the importance that peace of mind can bring in a period of uncertainty, the like of which we’ve never seen before. It was one of the most gratifying things from this whole period to hear how much this meant to our customers.
“We know reopening will be a gradual process and there will be more challenges ahead, but we’ll achieve the best outcomes for businesses, customers and communities, by continuing to pull together.”