Cider maker Merrydown could lose the European distribution rights for Two Dogs, one of the top-selling alcopops, following the sale of the Australian brewer of the same name to Pernod Ricard.
Merrydown, which originally held the distribution rights for the UK and European markets, has already suffered from an over-burdened alcopops market and claims that the success of the market has contributed to its fall in profits last year.
A decision could be made as soon as next week when Two Dogs and Merrydown meet in Sussex to discuss European distribution.
Two Dogs international marketing director Ian Bradshaw confirmed that Merrydown would be retained for UK distribution. However, distribution for Europe, a future target market for Two Dogs, was to be decided “country by country”.
Bradshaw denies there are plans to drop Merrydown altogether. “We’re working with Merrydown to develop the European market,” he says.
Two Dogs is number two to Hooper’s Hooch in the UK alcopops market, but a long way behind. There have been a flood of other players on the market, hitting the sales of Two Dogs. Already, Sainsbury’s has delisted it (MW September 27).
Two Dogs managing director Duncan McGillivray says some “sorting out” of distribution was needed following the sale of Two Dogs for 8.7m.
Merrydown managing director Paul Milman was confident of retaining both the UK and European markets.