Molson Coors acquires Aspall cider

Molson Coors Brewing Company has expanded its cider portfolio with the acquisition of Aspall Cyder Limited for around £40m.

Aspall will now operate as part of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, within the Molson Coors European business unit and will continue to press, ferment, keg and bottle at its single site in Aspall, Suffolk.

The premium cider is an eighth generation family business founded in 1728 by Clement Chevallier, which also produces a variety of vinegars.

“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,” said Henry Chevallier Guild. 

“We believe that Molson Coors investment will provide the catalyst to grow Aspall and build the recognition for quality cider worldwide.”

Molson Coors says members of the family will remain part of the business following the acquisition and still play a role in shaping the strategic direction of Aspall.

Phil Whitehead, managing director of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, added: “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 ongoing strategy to premiumise our portfolio.”

Volume of cider sales at Aspall grew by 10% in 2016 and the total cider market value grew by more than 25% between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to continue that growth through until 2020, according to data from Nielsen.

Barry Chevallier Guild, Aspall chairman, added: “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.”