UK – Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC), part of Danish multinational brewery Carlsberg Group, has announced new investment plans in its Carlsberg brewery in Northampton, UK as part of driving its sustainability and development plans. 

The investment will see the installation of a second-generation packaging machine, a new laser encoder, and an improved can filler and seamer at the facility. 

Launched in 2018 -by Carlsberg Group and global packaging solution provider KHS, Snap Pack packaging uses glue dot technology to hold cans together, removing the need for plastic rings. 

CMBC now uses the technology across brands including Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, San Miguel, Angelo Poretti, and Brooklyn Pilsner.  

The company aims to fully transition to Snap Pack Packaging across its four and six-can multipacks by the end of 2024, reducing plastic usage by up to 76% compared to pre-Snap Pack levels. 

Paul Davies, Chief Executive, CMBC said, “This major investment of more than £10 million in Northampton demonstrates our clear commitments to eliminating packaging waste, reducing water waste, and improving efficiency at our breweries.” 

CMBC has ambitious targets for sustainability as part of its Together Towards Zero and Beyond ESG programme.  

“By taking ambitious action now, we can deliver on our sustainability goals and enable even more of our innovative Snap Pack multipacks to make their way to consumers,” he added. 

The new investment follows the recent announcement of a 10-year commercial and business partnership between CMBC and Stonegate Group. 

“This is a momentous agreement for both CMBC and Stonegate Group, securing a long-term partnership to deliver a range of our fantastic beer brands into thousands of Stonegate Group’s excellent pubs,” said Ben Davies. 

Carlberg premiumization plan 

Meanwhile, the Dutch brewer’s subsidiary in Malaysia has acquired the rights to distribute the Japanese beer brand Sapporo in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia as from 2024. 

“Our Singaporean operations shall have joint-distribution rights to sell and distribute both Sapporo Premium Beer and Yebisu,” Carlsberg Malaysia managing director Stefano Clini revealed. 

“[Other premium initiatives ahead] for the year-end festivities include the launch of our limited edition 1664 PRESTIGE, packaged in a 750ml bottle and brewed with the finest champagne yeast, in Malaysia and Singapore to elevate the premium drinking experience,” he added.

The new partnership aligns with Carlsberg Malaysia persistent implementation of a premiumisation strategy which it believes is  a crucial strategy to continue achieving profitable growth. 

Carlsberg Malaysia has been persistent in its implementation of a premiumization strategy over the past few years, firm in its belief of this as a crucial strategy to continue achieving profitable growth- and it appears this slump in profitability has not changed its plans so far. 

“The past three years have clearly shown that premium products are the items consumers look to for that consumption experience and we are confident that we will still be better off pursuing this strategy in the medium to long term,” said Clini. 

Although not expressly stated, the new partnership with Sapporo appears to be a clear replacement for Asahi which was Carlsberg’s exclusive distribution partner in Malaysia for the past 10 years. 

Earlier this year, the Dutch brewer and her Japanese counterpart announced that the partnership between both brands will be ending starting 2024.