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Is JD Wetherspoon really banning Jägerbombs?

The national media is buzzing with the news that JD Wetherspoon is “banning” Jägerbombs as a result of higher tariffs on EU-made products post-Brexit, but what does that actually mean?

(Photo: CIPhotos/iStock)

The pub chain said it will stop selling German liqueur Jägermeister from 26 September. however, it will be replaced with Strika, a herbal liqueur produced in the UK by Halewood International, which also makes Lambrini, Red Square vodka, and The Pogues Irish whiskey. Punters will still be able to order “bombs”, just not with the Jägermeister attached.

Guy Lawrence, the CEO of Jägermeister UK, called the announcement a “political storm in a teacup.”

“Naturally we are disappointed that UK consumers will no longer be able to enjoy our products at Wetherspoon’s venues.”

He added that the action could free Jägermeister up to make more deals with on-trade businesses.

“We know that there is huge demand for Jägermeister in pubs and bars across the UK. It is the one of the top three spirits brands in the On-Trade, and we invest about £10 million per annum driving demand for our trademarks.”

“Of course this presents a good opportunity for our existing customers, and we look forward to working with them to make the most of the situation.”

The replacements


Wetherspoon’s said the swap will mean “lower prices for customers in its pubs,” in an emailed statement.

French brandies Courvoisier VS and Hennessy Fine de Cognac will also be scrapped from Wednesday 26 September, and replaced with US-made E&J Brandy and Australian brand Black Bottle.

Company founder Tim Martin, said that “In blind tastings conducted by Wetherspoon, the new products were more popular than those they are replacing.”

“We will continue to review all products over the next 24 months, with the object of making the business more competitive and offering the best choice and value for customers.”

The news comes shortly after an announcement that the pub chain would reinforce a ban on dogs across its UK sites.

the drinks business has reached out to Halewood for further information.

Champagne scrapped, but not Prosecco

The company has already started replacing some of its more loss-leading EU-made products with non-European counterparts. It replaced Champagne with sparkling wines from the UK and Australia in its pubs earlier this year as well as German wheat beers with those from the UK.

However, the statement released in June made no mention of axing Prosecco from the range, which makes up the majority of Wetherspoon’s sparkling wine sales.

Champagne has struggled in recent years in the UK against cheaper products such as Prosecco. Brits drank one third of the world’s Italian fizz in 2016, but sales figures released ahead of international wine fair ProWein in April this year show that the traditional-method French sparkler is losing ground with consumers.

While exports of Champagne to markets outside Europe were in growth, shipments to countries within Europe were in slight decline during 2017, particularly the UK market which saw an 11% drop in volume, while sales of Champagne in its domestic market were down 2.5%.

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