Magners to hike investment as demand exceeds supply

MagnersThe company behind Magners cider is being forced to accelerate investment plans for the brand as it struggles to keep up with demand.

C&C Group says sales of Magners have more than tripled since it was given a national UK launch in March.

The company had originally planned to double Magners’ share of the on-trade market in 2006/07. But along with a high-profile, &£20m marketing campaign, sales have been helped by good weather in early summer.

The success has led to problems for C&C, which does not have enough capacity to meet demand, with production of take-home packs a particular problem.

C&C, which is based in Ireland, had already planned a â¬50m (&£33.8m) investment programme to increase the amount of cider it could produce. In May, it said the project was going to plan, but has admitted it needs to bring forward the next phase of its expansion. It aims to have more capacity next summer.

C&C markets Magners outside Ireland, including the UK, US and continental Europe, while keeping its Bulmers brand for the Irish market. It is basing its future strategy on those two drinks, as well as whiskey brand Tullamore Dew. It has offloaded a number of other non-drink brands this year, selling the Tayto crisp business for â¬62.3m (&£42.1m) in July to Largo Food Exports.

The company says it expects the strong growth in Magners sales to continue during the second half of the year. The success of the brand is also leading to a new boom for farmers, who are reported to be planting millions more apple trees to meet demand.

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