Good Drinks signs Magners distribution deal

Good Drinks Australia notified the ASX this morning that it has signed a deal with C&C International to distribute Magners Irish Cider range of brands in Australia.

Magners Cider has been distributed in Australia by what is now Coca-Cola Europacific Partners since 2017. However, the multi-national beverage company announced earlier this year that it was exiting the beer and cider markets in Australia and offloading Western Australia’s Feral Brewing Co, as well as Molson Coors and Magners.

Good Drinks announced in a well-timed statement that it will become the exclusive national importer and distributor of C&C’s Magners Original Irish Cider in 330ml and 568ml bottles and keg format from 1st July 2022 until February 2026.

Nearly 1 million litres of Magners is sold annually.

Good Drinks said the brand complements the current Good Drinks product range, while broadening the portfolio and furthering its access to a significant category of the alcohol market.

Good Drinks is no stranger to the distribution of mainstream international brands, having taken San Miguel into its portfolio back in 2020.

“When we moved our strategy from Gage Roads to Good Drinks, it was because our business had become a house of brands,” explained Good Drinks managing director John Hoedemaker.

“Our view is that building scale in your sales and marketing capabilities and scale in manufacturing is really important in this segment of the market.

“We’ve been busy building scale in our sales and marketing team, we’re probably five to six years into that now, and so we already are a national sales team. We have people in all key markets, we have state-based sales teams, and a really comprehensive key accounts, national accounts team. That capability is what we’ve built and what has allowed us to successfully partner with Magners.

“They were looking for an organisation that could help them continue the good work of distributing Magners around the country, so certainly it aligns with our strategy and it’s even as a result of our strategy that we’re looking to help and partner with brands like Magners and others.”

Good Drinks expects to accelerate sales growth by leveraging the expanding national Good Drinks sales capability.

Despite taking on brands like San Miguel and Magners, Good Drinks will still remain focused on its craft beer and other craft beverage products.

“Within our portfolio we have Gage Roads, Atomic, [we’re] very much craft focused. Gage Roads is becoming a coastal lifestyle brand, Atomic is very much inner-city grunge craft style brand and those brands will continue to be that, and we are very happy with them and we will continue growing them in that space. Obviously San Miguel and Magners are different categories of liquor.

“Our strategy is to build the scale in our sales team to do the best and the right thing for the craft beers and also cover some of the costs of that scale through some of the brands in the other categories like San Miguel and Magners cider.”

The move will also mean Good Drinks can offer more products to retail customers, Hoedemaker explained.

“For us, we feel if we do a few things we can do them all better. It takes scale to represent your brands properly in this market, when we go to a bottleshop or a bar we’re really keen to be a solution provider for that customer and offer them solutions for multiple segments of the market.

“Customers have different needs, sometimes they’re looking for a cider, sometimes they are looking for a craft beer, or an alternative to beer. Our view is if we want to do the right thing by our customer, being available, and easy to do business with and having a broad portfolio is how we can add value to our customer base.”

Hoedemaker also noted that brewers are already looking to other segments of the liquor market, such as seltzer.

“There are so many craft beer companies moving into seltzers – what does it mean for craft if you start making seltzer? You may as well start with what is craft.

“For us, Good Drinks is about making great beer and other drinks, ciders, alcoholic ginger beer, and distributing them, and our goal is to see our products in every single fridge in Australia. That’s what we’d love to see, [people of] all walks of life enjoying one of our products, whether you’re a super crafty person or you love that Irish cider, we’d love to be able to supply our products to those customers.”

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