Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP; TSX: TPX) today announced the expansion of its cider portfolio through the acquisition of Aspall Cyder Limited.
Molson Coors and Aspall, the award-winning premium cyder1 brand, are pleased to announce they are coming together in what is the latest milestone in the Suffolk cider company’s illustrious history. The acquisition brings together two companies with a passion for building extraordinary brands and similar family-orientated ownership structures, with close to 650 years of combined experience in operating excellence.
Founded in 1728 by Clement Chevallier and run by the eighth generation of his family, Aspall is an established premium brand of quality and provenance. The company’s high-quality portfolio strengthens Molson Coors’ position in a fast-growing market for premium cider in the UK. Aspall also produces leading specialty vinegars, including Aspall Organic Cyder vinegar, which is made using a fermentation process that is the only one of its kind in the world.
Aspall operates from a single site in the parish of Aspall, Suffolk, where the Chevallier family first planted the orchards at Aspall Hall. Members of the family will remain part of the business and will play a key role in shaping the strategic direction of Aspall, ensuring that it remains a cornerstone of the surrounding community.
Through its industry-leading expertise in marketing, distribution and logistics, Molson Coors is ideally positioned to grow the business in the UK and establish a leading presence for the Aspall brand in key markets around the world. Molson Coors will be investing in Aspall’s Suffolk operation, helping further the founding family’s ambition to redefine the cider category by giving more consumers the opportunity to taste and develop an appreciation for the genuinely premium nature of high-quality cider.
Phil Whitehead, Managing Director of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to add Aspall to the Molson Coors portfolio. Both companies share a similar history that is deeply rooted in family, dedication to customers and a commitment to excellence. The Chevallier’s have been producing cyder for almost 300-years and their range of brands enhances our existing portfolio. We’re now looking forward to helping Aspall become the number one premium cyder in the UK and building on the huge potential of the Aspall vinegars, as part of an ongoing strategy to premiumise our portfolio.”
Barry Chevallier Guild, Aspall Chairman, said: “This is an important milestone in Aspall’s long history and a proud day for everyone involved with the company. Having been in close discussions with Molson Coors for over a year, we were delighted to find that they share our rich heritage, passion for making quality cyder and vision for the future development of Aspall and its people. Molson Coors is known for respecting the provenance of local brands it has acquired in the past, and has the scale and expertise to accelerate our growth in the premium cider category in the UK and beyond.”
Henry Chevallier Guild added “There is a real opportunity to elevate and grow the status of English cyder in the UK and abroad both as a beverage and as an excellent partner for food. We believe that Molson Coors investment will provide the catalyst to grow Aspall and build the recognition for quality cider worldwide.”
Volume of cyder sales at Aspall grew by 10% in 2016. The UK cider market is a substantial industry that is in value growth. The total cider market value grew by over 25% between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to continue that growth through until 2020 according to data from Nielsen2. Aspall will operate as part of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, within the Molson Coors European business unit and will continue to press, ferment, keg and bottle at the Cyder House in Aspall, Suffolk.
For 290 years, Aspall has combined a love of traditional cider-making with a passion for innovation. The family cider-making business was established in 1728 by Clement Chevallier, and the eighth generation of his family run the business and live and work among the orchards at Aspall Hall in Suffolk. The company’s apples are pressed at this site to produce the very finest, world-class ciders and cider vinegars, which increasingly enjoy global acclaim for quality and excellence. Aspall’s finest, world-class ciders include the award winning Premium Cru Cyder, Aspall Cyder, Clement’s Four, Cyderkyn and Imperial Vintage. Together, Aspall Draft and Premier account for almost 65% of its total volumes.