Row brewing over UK distribution of Tsingtao beer

09 February, 2007

Retailers can now get Chinese beer Tsingtao from two UK distributors

following Westmill Foods ' agreement with the Chinese company.

Westmill had been distributing Tsingtao to the Chinese community in the UK, but is

planning to widen its distribution and target multiple retailers, cash and carries and the on-trade.

Managing director Charles Fillingham said: "There is massive potential to grow Tsingtao Beer across the entire UK market. It is a genuine Chinese beer with a premium positioning."

Henley-based Windfall Drinks will be Westmill's sales representative for the beer. The company's Jonnie May said: "A lot of people in the UK will already be familiar with the beer through visiting Chinese restaurants. We believe there is enormous potential for Tsingtao and genuine imported beers in general."

Global Brands, which took on the UK distribution of Tsingtao just under a year ago and supplies the beer to Tesco, among†other on

and off-trade listings, told OLN it would be business as usual for its customers.

Managing director Steve Perez said he is taking legal action against Westmill, because it claimed it is the sole agency distributor of Tsingtao in the UK.

"I would say to any OLN readers, it is business as usual as far as we are concerned. I've got plenty of stock to supply them," he said.

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