BrewDog China

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Craft brewer BrewDog has teamed up with Budweiser as part of a major expansion plan in China.

The joint venture partnership with Budweiser China, which is the biggest international brewer in the market, will see BrewDog’s biggest-selling brands such as Punk IPA, Hazy Jane and Elvis Juice distributed across the country from March.

The long-term agreement will focus on expanding the BrewDog brand across Greater China and allows the Scottish group to capitalise on rapid market growth in the country.

Additionally, an affiliate of Budweiser China and BrewDog have partnered to expand the brand in South Korea, with options to collaborate in other Asian markets at a later date.

Budweiser China is part of Budweiser Apac, the listed Asian brewer majority-owned by AB InBev.

BrewDog CEO James Watt said the move was “a genuinely transformational partnership” which would take the brand to every corner of the world’s biggest beer market.

“By making beer closer to our customers, we’ll be giving them even fresher beer and doing it in a way which is better for the planet,” he added.

“Over the past few years we’ve established local production in the US, Germany and Australia.

“Chinese drinkers love craft beer, but the sector is still very new. In Budweiser China, we have found a partner that shares our growth vision for BrewDog in China and is perfectly placed to support our rapid growth in the region.

“We’ve always wanted to significantly grow our share in China – this new JV will enable us to do just that as we look to continue to grow our business globally.”

Nicolas Morelli, craft and specialty beer VP of Budweiser China, said: “Bud China is leading in craft beer across China and we continue to focus on premium and super premium beer offerings in the country.

“We are excited to add BrewDog to our craft beer portfolio to enrich Chinese beer lovers’ experience with more craft beer choices.”

BrewDog’s beers will be locally produced at Budweiser China’s Putian Craft Brewery in Fujian province.

China currently accounts for less than 1% of BrewDog’s overall sales, but the group said, under the new partnership, it aimed to achieve “significant multiples” of its existing Chinese volumes, leveraging Budweiser China’s “highly sophisticated” country-wide distribution network.

The JV is expected to be fully operational by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

BrewDog is also planning to open several bars in China by 2026, building on its outlet in Shanghai.

The deal marks BrewDog’s second joint venture in Asia following its partnership in Japan with Asahi in September 2021, which the group said helped double sales in the country.

Morning update

It is a quiet start to the week on the markets.

The FTSE 100 opened 0.1% higher to 8,008.95pts.

Early risers in fmcg include Naked Wines, up 4.3% to 121.6p, McBride, up 3% to 23.3p, and Glanbia, up 2.5% to €11.65.

DS Smith, Pets at Home and Deliveroo are down so far by 3.5% to 341.1p, 1.4% to 375p and 0.7% to 90.7p respectively.

This week in the City

There isn’t a great deal scheduled for this week in the UK.

Bakery group Finsbury Foods is set to publish first-half results tomorrow, while, over in the US, WalMart and Molson Coors issue quarterly figures.

Danone becomes the latest big CPG group to post Q4 and annual results on Wednesday.

Budweiser China owner Apac Budweiser Brewing, which this morning revealed a partnership with BrewDog, will put out its quarterly results on Thursday.

The monthly GfK Consumer Confidence Index will be out on Friday morning.