By James Atkinson

Lion's flagship beer XXXX Gold will knock VB off its perch within the next 12 months, according to CEO Rob Murray, who told TheShout exclusively that the brewer is poised to make another big announcement very soon.

It's been a massive week for Lion, with the brewer this week announcing its new Corona distribution deal, along with its ambitious XXXX Island marketing campaign.

But CEO Rob Murray told TheShout there is more still to come in the near future.

"We've got a third one lined up actually, I just can't tell you what it is yet. [Good things] do come in threes – I can confirm the rumour," he said.

"I can't say anymore other than 'watch this space'."

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Murray said that XXXX Gold will be Australia's number one beer by volume "imminently".

"We have the occasional month now, even the occasional quarter where the brand in volume terms has ranked ahead of VB," he said.

"XXXX Gold is still growing up to now, VB has been declining. It really shouldn't be that long, inside the next 12 months we will be feeling more confident to say that it's the biggest brand in the country," Murray said.

He said the company's investment on the XXXX Island campaign will be very considerable.

"Some of it will obviously depend how well we manage to capture the imagination of our consumers over the next three or four years of the campaign and how much longevity we can give it," he said.

"It'll be multiple millions of dollars – there literally is no limit to what you could spend on this idea, if it really comes alive and works with consumers then we'll spend behind it."

The Corona deal with Grupo Modelo will be pivotal for Lion, Murray added, because the brand is "adored by consumers". 

"It'll hopefully increase our importance and leverage with all of our customers and our ability to work with them," he said.
"There's hardly a metro-based customer now who can't afford to have Corona in their repertoire, it's a really important brand on-premise."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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