Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP) announced today that it has launched Carling in Ukraine, Eastern Europe’s second largest beer market, through a commercial joint venture with Obolon Company, a leading Ukraine brewer. Beginning this month, Carling in 500ml bottles will be available in grocery stores, bars and neighborhood stores across Ukraine. With the support of the new Ukrainian team in Kiev, Molson Coors and Obolon jointly will manage the marketing and distribution of Carling. Obolon will brew and package Carling for the Ukraine market.
Kandy Anand, president of Molson Coors International said, “As the second largest beer market in the Eastern Europe, the Ukraine presents an excellent opportunity for us to expand our global footprint in emerging markets. As we have done successfully in other markets, our strategy is to complement local expertise with our dedicated teams on the ground to work more closely with our partners to help grow our brands. Our joint venture with Obolon enables us to do just that with their strong distribution network and knowledge of the Ukrainian beer market. We are confident in the opportunity Carling presents as a premium lager in this growing market.”
Ukraine’s beer industry has been growing at a rate of more than eight percent (CAGR) for the past 5 years. The premium segment, approximately 3 million HL, is growing fastest as consumers trade up from mainstream brands. With a lower per capita consumption, there is strong growth potential for the market in the coming years.
Obolon is a leading Ukraine brewer with nearly 27 percent market share, two breweries and eight brands in their portfolio. Initial consumer research shows Ukrainian consumers responded well to Carling’s lager profile and were also attracted to its British appeal and strong association with football.
Olexandr Slobodyan, President of Obolon added, “We are pleased to partner with Molson Coors to bring Carling to Ukraine. We know consumers are looking for quality lagers with the cachet of an import. Carling makes an excellent entry into the market and we look forward to working with Molson Coors to bring this iconic brand to Ukrainian beer drinkers.”
In the past year, Molson Coors has entered new global markets through a joint venture with Si’hai Brewery in China, and partnerships with Moscow Brewery in Russia, Mahou San Miguel in Spain and Viet Thai in Vietnam.
About Molson Coors Brewing Company
Molson Coors Brewing Company is a leading global brewer delivering extraordinary brands that delight the world’s beer drinkers. It brews, markets and sells a portfolio of leading premium brands such as Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Carling, Blue Moon, and Keystone Light across The Americas, Europe and Asia. It operates in Canada through Molson Coors Canada; in the US through MillerCoors; and in the U.K. and Ireland through Molson Coors UK. For more information on Molson Coors Brewing Company and our portfolio of brands, visit the company’s Web site, www.molsoncoors.com.
About Obolon Company
Obolon is a national corporation that produces beer, low alcohol and soft drinks, and mineral water. 80 percent of beer exports in Ukraine belong to Obolon. The company’s products are distributed in 36 countries. The main factory of the corporation took the first place among the largest brewers in Europe in terms of production volumes. The company’s capacity is more than 1 billion liters of beer a year. Obolon is the only major brewery in Ukraine with its own full-cycle production of malt. This ensures a stable and high quality beer. Obolon brands include: beer category – Оbolon, Zibert, Bitburher, and Desant. Mineral water brands: Prosora, Obolonska and the soft drink Zhyvchyk.