Snow, a premium 5% ABV lager, has been the best selling beer globally since 2008 thanks to the large consumer base in its main market, China.
Molson Coors will introduce Snow in the UK and Ireland to boost its strength in the World Beers category – a sector valued at £320m and growing at 11.5% year on year in the UK. Molson Coors will benefit from exclusive rights in the on- and off-trade to the sales, distribution and customer marketing of Snow.
Molson Coors’ other World Beers include Cobra, Singha, Staropramen, Pravha, Blue Moon and Grolsch. Snow will be its first Chinese brand partner.
Snow was launched in China in 1994 at the Shenyang Brewery in the north-eastern Chinese province of Liaoning.
It is produced by China Resources Snow Breweries, which is now fully owned by China Resources Beer (SABMiller’s stake in the business was sold following its combination with AB InBev).
Ethnic restaurant sector
Snow will continue to be brewed in China and imported to the UK and Ireland. In these markets, it will use a refreshed label featuring traditional Chinese characters and imagery, designed to make a strong visual impact on shelves and in fridges.
Phil Whitehead, managing director, Molson Coors UK & Ireland, said the beer will target the ethnic restaurant sector, where Molson Coors also sells Cobra and Singha.
“As drinkers become increasingly knowledgeable about beer, they demand greater choice to allow them to explore a range of flavors and styles,” he said.
“We believe this is a reflection of the general societal shift towards spending on experiences and, in part, the continued food revolution that has been taking place in the UK over the past 10-15 years.”