UK – Molson Coors Brewing Company has announced the expansion of its cider portfolio through the acquisition of Suffolk, UK based Aspall Cyder Limited.

The acquisition brings together two companies with similar family-orientated ownership structures, with close to 650 years of combined experience in operating excellence say the two companies.

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 Cider vinegar, which is made using a fermentation process that is the only one of its kind in the world.

Through its industry-leading expertise in marketing, distribution and logistics, Molson Coors says it 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.

“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 cider 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 cider in the UK and building on the huge potential of the Aspall vinegars, as part of an on-going strategy to premiumise our portfolio,” said Phil Whitehead, Managing Director of Molson Coors UK & Ireland.

“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,” said Barry Chevallier Guild, Aspall Chairman.

Henry Chevallier Guild added, “There is a real opportunity to elevate and grow the status of English cider 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 cider sales at Aspall grew by 10% in 2016 and 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 Nielsen.

Aspall will operate as part of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, within the Molson Coors European business unit and will continue to produce its products in Aspall, Suffolk.