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Coca-Cola to sell Feral Brewing, exit beer, apple cider markets

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Australia (CCEP) is to sell its WA-based brewing subsidiary Feral Brewing Co and quit selling beer and apple cider in Australia after 20 years in the category.  

CCEP’s VP & GM, Australia, Pacific & Indonesia, Peter West, said the decision followed a strategic review of the businesses following the merger of Coca-Cola Amatil with the European business earlier this year. 

“We are very proud of the journey and performance we have had in our beer and cider portfolio after close to two decades,” he said in a statement. “The next growth phase for the portfolio to become a stronger key partner with our customers would require significant over-investment to accelerate scale.”

Kidder Williams has been appointed to advise CCEP on the sale of Perth-based Feral Brewing, which was judged the nation’s best brewer in 2016. The supply arrangement with C&C Group to distribute Molson Coors in Australia will not be renewed when it expires during the first half of next year. 

West said exiting the beer and apple cider business would better position the organisation to grow its spirits, alcohol ready-to-drink (RTD) and non-alcohol ready-to-drink (NARTD) businesses.

As a bottler of brands such as Coca-Cola and Jim Beam, further investment to scale Feral and the apple cider business would come at the expense of focusing its efforts, teams and innovation on the company’s core spirits, RTD, and NARTD portfolios said West.

“A move away from beer and apple cider will allow for greater focus for our teams to execute our exciting growth plans in Spirits, RTDs and NARTDs, and enable the future partners of these beer and apple cider brands to continue to accelerate their performance.”

West said the company would work closely with the brand partners it is parting ways with to ensure a smooth transition that allows for their continued growth.

CCEP will continue to distribute Rekorderlig and Australian Bitters products within its alcohol portfolio alongside its spirits and RTD brands.

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