It would be unfair to describe Coopers as the Steven Bradbury of Australian beer, but I’m sure it would have come as a surprise to a younger Tim Cooper – when his father told him there may be no future in the brewery – if someone had suggested that he would one day run Australia’s largest brewery. But with Foster’s shareholders approving the SABMiller deal, Coopers achieved that place. Still, despite its seeming ubiquity these days and producing more than 60 million litres , Coopers occupies just 4 per cent of the Australian market.
Coopers flies Australian flag In national beer market
Coopers Brewery says its new found status as the largest Australian-owned brewer in the nation will provide it with additional marketing and brewing opportunities, but will not automatically result in increased sales.
The vote by Fosters’ shareholders today (December 1, 2011) to approve the takeover bid by UK-based SABMiller, leaves Coopers as the largest independent brewer in the country.
Coopers Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper, said that Coopers certainly was not the largest player in the Australian beer market, holding 4% of all beer sales in Australia.
“Our rise to our new found status, on the eve of our 150th anniversary, was achieved almost by default,” he said.
“However, it is a badge of honour we will wear with pride as it represents the reward for 150 years of hard work by the Cooper family.”
Dr Cooper said the new status would provide Coopers with strong marketing opportunities, but would not by itself generate more sales.
“We have averaged 10% compound annual growth in beer volumes for the past 15 years,” he said.
“Continuing this growth will require hard work by everyone at the brewery and by providing Australian consumers with a quality product.
“The Australian beer market at the moment is tough, with overall consumption having fallen slightly in the past 12 months as a result of economic conditions. Certainly being the largest Australian-owned brewer in the country gives us a new marketing tool, but it will be just one factor when
consumers decide which brand they purchase.”
Coopers today launched a series of new press and outdoor advertisements under the heading “True brew” which underlines the company’s commitment to remaining Australian owned. The new advertisements will run into 2012 when Coopers celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Dr Cooper said the takeover of Fosters by SABMiller may also provide new contract brewing opportunities.