By James Atkinson

In its 150th year, Coopers is upbeat about the potential market share of its domestic and international beer brands, but the brewer has acknowledged that improving national distribution will be its biggest challenge.

In a candid interview at Coopers' 150th birthday celebrations in Sydney, managing director Dr Tim Cooper told TheShout the company has grown from a one per cent share of the Australian beer market in the late nineties to four per cent now. [continues below]

Lord Nelson Hotel staff at Coopers' 150th celebrations in Sydney

"But in South Australia we've got 20 per cent of the market – what that means is that the rest of Australia only has two per cent consumption of our beers," he said.

He said achieving a 20 per cent share nationally would be a "big ask".

"We've often wondered whether we could get to 10 per cent of the national market, but it might take us well beyond 2020," Cooper said.

"When you look at our brand equity interstate, we've already got pretty good recognition. It's just a matter of improving distribution."

Cooper, who said an alliance with Coca-Cola Amatil is out of the question, said the brewer believes it has the opportunity to significantly expand volumes of all its key product sectors.

These comprise the brewer's core range of naturally conditioned ales, its expanding international products, which now include Carlsberg and Kronenbourg, and what he terms "super craft" beers, including the new Celebration Ale (pictured above) and the Vintage releases.

Coopers chairman Glenn Cooper (pictured left) said it's been a remarkable 150th year for the brewer.

"This year, our 150th year, I don't think we could have written the script for it, quite as well," he said.

"I believe it was quite sad to see Foster's go as a world Australian icon, but we've been handed this mantle."

The Shout Team

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

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