By James Atkinson

Australian liquor retailers must support quality and diversity in their product ranges or risk losing another brewer to overseas interests, warns Coopers executive chairman Glenn Cooper.

Speaking as Coopers prepares to celebrate its 150th birthday as a family-owned company, Cooper told TheShout that the recent sale of Foster's to SABMiller sends a clear message to the Australian liquor industry.

"We have now seen the loss of a major iconic brewery to overseas interests," he said.

"In Australia, ignoring brand awareness and having products that are purely driven on price only is surely a recipe for failure or a takeover in the future by global conglomerates."

Cooper also questioned the longevity of the cider market in Australia, and said the company had no intention of entering the category.

"While it is experiencing substantial growth it is still a small part of the overall market when compared to beer volumes," he said.

"I also note that there are now a myriad of cider brands flooding the market, with the major brewers controlling a large share, and I don't like getting in the boxing ring with global companies who have huge marketing dollars to spend." 

"Finally, I would say that cider still may turn out to be a short-term trend and that consumers may move onto something new," Cooper said.

See the January/February issue of National Liquor News for a full interview with Glenn Cooper.

The Shout Team

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

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  1. The cider market is exactly as Dr Cooper says. Another fly-by-night.
    Just as Rose a couple of years ago, and Moscato last year.
    Mark his and my words!!!!

  2. Whilst I commend coopers for not selling themselves to the devil don’t underestimate the cider market I have supported pale ale for 10 years and fought off pressure from the big breweries to replace coopers with there products but I believe there are independent passionate cider brewers out there making great inroads onto market and will be here in the long term.

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