UK – Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) has signed a deal with Heineken UK that will enable Carlsberg Group to acquire the UK rights for the Kronenbourg beer brand from the unit of the Dutch brewery.

The deal, which transfers the license of the French beer brand from 1 June 2023, will see Carlsberg Group acquire all rights to produce and distribute Kronenbourg 1664 in the UK via CMBC.

CMBC is a venture between UK brewer Marston’s and Carlsberg, in which the Danish group owns a majority share.

Under the agreement, Heineken UK will continue to brew and pack Kronenbourg 1664 under contract before moving to CMBC in 2024. A three-year commercial arrangement has also been agreed upon to continue to list and provide the brand to Heineken UK’s Star Pubs & Bars.

Heineken UK has held the license for Kronenbourg 1664 since 2008, following the acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle by Carlsberg and Heineken.

Boudewijn Haarsma, managing director of Heineken UK, said: “We’ve been a strong custodian of Kronenbourg in the UK over the last fourteen years, maintaining product quality and investing in its marketing and distribution as part of our portfolio.”

“During this time, we have also been investing behind our premium brands, such as Birra Moretti, and taking ownership of super premium beers Beavertown and Brixton. We’ve also exciting plans in the UK for our Spanish lager Cruzcampo. With a great brand range to offer our customers, now is the right time for Kronenbourg 1664 to enter its next chapter, and we’re pleased to have reached this agreement with Carlsberg.”

At the start of the year, CMBC announced it would increase the wholesale prices for its packaged and draught products in the UK. Draught products prices were slated to rise by a minimum of 11%, with packaged products rising by 6%.

The move follows the launch of Spain’s number one draught lager, Cruzcampo, across the UK by Heineken UK to continue its commitment to support the on-trade, helping operators meet consumer needs.

“Mainstream lager has the highest number of drinkers across all beer categories, accounting for one in every three pints. While some consumers may have to make their money work harder, they still want to discover new brands that feel special,” Matt Saltzstein, HEINEKEN UK Beer Brand Unit Director, underscored.

“Offering a premium quality experience but at an accessible price point on the bar is critical to meeting these demands. Cruzcampo is an affordable trade-up option for larger drinkers who enjoy discovering new experiences.”

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