Magners launches post-merger review

18 February, 2011

Magners GB is reviewing its cider portfolio after buying Gaymers from Constellation in 2009.?Managing director Gordon Johncox told OLN he hoped the review would be completed “by the half year” and there were no plans to delist any of the brands by then. Parent company C&C Group’s portfolio includes Addlestones, Diamond White and Black­thorn, as well as Magners and Gaymers.?“We are not looking to remove any brands. Defining the portfolio strategy is about us having absolute agreement and alignment about where we’re going to invest and exactly what role those brands are going to play,” Johncox said.?He denied there was a crossover between Magners and Gaymers. “Gaymers is different in that it tends to appeal to slightly younger consumers, who are music-centric,” he said.

“It’s perceived to be a bit more fun and frivolous. We think there’s a very clear differentiation between Magners and Gaymers.

“At the moment we are still in the process of defining our portfolio strategy, but what we are very confident about is that each of the brands has a distinctive role to play.”?Johncox refused to say how many jobs had been affected by the acquisition.?“We have been able to place the vast majority of people who wanted to be placed in this business – some chose not to be part of it.

“We handled the whole process of integration efficiently and utterly fairly. It didn’t matter where you were from, everyone had an equal chance.”?The Magners boss welcomed the recent launch of Stella Cidre, saying it would attract new people to the category. “AB Inbev will do everything to make it work – it will invest a significant amount of money but, ultimately, the consumer will be the judge.?“Our hope is people will come into the category, try Stella Cidre and will then want to try the real McCoy – Magners.”?Johncox also urged retailers to give cider more space in-store.

“Currently the cider category is in big growth. The category is under-faced,

particularly in independent off-licences, and the worst thing retailers can do is to try and squeeze a new brand into what’s already not allotted enough space. At the moment that’s my only concern about the launch of Stella Cidre.”

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