Heineken to take control of Strongbow distribution in US16 August 2012
Heineken USA has agreed to pay Vermont Hard Cider Co. an undisclosed sum to take distribution of Strongbow in the US in-house.
Vermont Hard Cider Co has distributed Strongbow for the past nine years and the company had a further two years left on its deal with Heineken USA's parent company, Dutch brewing giant Heineken NV.
Heineken USA said it will position Strongbow as a ‘leading upscale cider brand, offering both male and female consumers an alternative alcoholic beverage option’.
Strongbow is reportedly the second-best selling cider in the US and the market grew by 20% last year. Heineken controls 25% of the global cider market.
The company will finalise its distribution strategy and marketing plans in the coming months and the switch will be operational by January 2013.
“We see this as a pivotal moment to further accelerate Strongbow's growth by supporting the brand with the full weight of Heineken’s resources and capabilities," said Dolf van den Brink, Heineken USA’s president and chief executive.
"By growing our core and investing in innovation, we will continue to enhance our position as the industry's leading upscale importer."
Since 2011, Heineken USA has added several new brands to its portfolio in addition to Strongbow, including the Newcastle Brown Ale Limited Editions, Amstel Wheat, Indio, and the forthcoming Tecate Michelada.
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