Asahi adds former Fuller’s cider and ales to ‘super premium’ portfolio

Japanese beer giant Asahi has confirmed the addition of former Fuller’s brands London Pride, Frontier and Cornish Orchards to its UK portfolio, following its acquisition of the British brewer.

The brands will join Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Asahi Super Dry, Pilsner Urquell and Meantime as part of Asahi’s super premium portfolio.

Fuller’s sold its cider, soft drinks, wine, distribution and wholesaling business, along with its beer and brewing operations, to Asahi earlier this year in a deal worth £250 million.

“All of us at Asahi UK are thrilled to be bringing these much loved cask ale and cider brands into our portfolio,” Tim Clay, Asahi’s UK managing director, said.

“Through our existing Super Premium Brand portfolio, distribution network, customer marketing and sales expertise we aim to extend and grow our new range across the UK and Ireland – to offer our customers the most comprehensive suite of Premium Beer and Cider brands.”

“Building on the heritage of Fuller’s London Pride, Frontier and Cornish Orchards, we aim to enrich consumer experiences through industry leading product quality, impactful marketing and by driving ongoing value to our customers. This year will be an exciting time for Asahi UK and our customers.”

Asahi has been developing its European business for some time. AB InBev sold SAB Miller’s central and eastern European beer business to Asahi for €7.3 billion (US$7.8bn) at the end of 2016, in a deal that saw Asahi take on Pilsner Urquell and Kozel, Poland’s Tyskie and Lecher and Hungary’s Dreier. AB InBev had already offloaded SABMiller’s other European beer brands, including Grolsch and Peroni, to Asahi for €2.55bn (US$2.76 billion).

One brand that was not included on the announcement was Dark Star, a craft brewery snapped up by Fuller’s in 2018. A spokesperson for Asahi told the drinks business the portfolio briefing, which was sent to journalists on Monday 29 April, “included only a selection of our brands within the release – both existing Asahi brands and those incoming from Fuller’s.”

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