Paul Hegarty, a MolsonCoors spokesperson, said that while the company was not currently extending a marketing push on regional sourcing of barley for its UK-based lager brand Carling to other beers, it may look to further promote grain use in the future
The claims follow the announcements this week from both Coors Brewers’and UK-based rival Greene King that cultivation techniques and the local qualities of grain will be major parts of promotion in the future.
Both manufacturers told BeverageDaily.com that although provenance and grain quality are part of longstanding traditions in their brewing, the decision to now actively promote these factors to the consumer was a new strategy to meet interest in their sourcing.
Hegarty claimed that the group would be extending its ‘British Barley’ promotion for Carling, first launched last Autumn, by regionally targeting its adverts to play up local sourcing and characteristics in the lager.
He suggested that the decision was tied into growing interest in the taste characteristics of more regional beers as well as growing consumer awareness of sourcing and tracebility in supply.
While not a company-wide, but UK initiative, Hegarty said that there was a growing realisation that sourcing was important to consumers. He stressed that similar global advertising for MolsonCoors’ other brands will not necessarily follow though.
“If we see something working in one of our businesses or markets, we may look to try it elsewhere,” Hegarty stated.
Greene King, which produces a number of branded ales across the UK and runs a number of pub outlets, said this week that it has obtained accreditation with the Red Tractor scheme in order to play up its beer sourcing.
Red Tractor Standards for beer assure require brewers to commit to certain agricultural standards regarding grain use and cultivation.
Steve Magnall, brewing and distribution director for Greene King, claimed that the group had for 200 years been buying barley from local farmers and returning spent grain for cattle feed or fertiliser.
By obtaining the accreditation, the brewer said that the use of the standards on its brands and products would allow it to play up commitments to grain quality and sourcing directly to the consumer.
Magnall conceded that the commitments to certification schemes like the Red Tractor Standards did require some financial investment for brewers.
“The tracking and recording for auditing purposes is extremely resource intensive, and therefore add costs,” he stated. “However, we are not passing these on to consumers, we made a concerted decision to absorb the costs ourselves so that.”