Pierhead poised to import from Chile

11 July, 2008

Prolific world beer importer Pierhead Purchasing is targeting Chile and Argentina for its next additions .

The company is close to a deal with independent Chilean brewer Kross, which makes stout, golden ale and maibock- style beers, in addition to a pilsner lager.

The move comes despite the company observing reluctance from supermarkets to consider new product lines, due to concerns over consumer confidence.

Michael Cook, Pierhead's director of imported beer, said: "We're trying to bring in a beer from Chile to tie in with the UK's growing Chilean wine market .

"It's from an independent brewer that makes some very good beers. We may also be looking for an alternative from Argentina."

The company already imports Inbev-owned Quilmes from the South American country.

Cook added that supermarkets were becoming a tougher sell for new lines.

"Buyers are sitting on their hands a bit at the moment," he said. "They seem scared that the market is going to be facing a downturn, so they're less willing to take on new or different brands that they feel could pose a problem to them in the future.

"There's a reluctance to do anything and they're waiting to see how things develop. But the catch there is that if you don't do something, then nothing develops."

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