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Heineken ups the pressure on C&C

Heineken's plans to turn Strongbow cider into one of its "global brands" is bad news for C&C. With one of the world's major brewers turning its full firepower on the global cider market what does the future now hold for C&C's Magners cider?

Last week, Alexis Nasard, chief commercial officer of Dutch brewing giant Heineken, revealed that it aims to turn Strongbow -- already the UK's best-selling cider -- into one of its global brands. This will see Heineken vastly increase the promotional spend on Strongbow and put its global distribution network at the disposal of the brand.

Strongbow joined the Heineken stable following Heineken's acquisition of UK brewing group Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) in 2008. Ironically, C&C itself had the opportunity of acquiring Strongbow when HP Bulmer, the company which owns the brand came up for sale. Unfortunately, C&C passed and HP Bulmer was snapped up by S&N for just £278m (€324m) instead.

Now the consequences of that short-sighted decision are becoming apparent. With Heineken putting its weight behind Strongbow, C&C is going to find it even more difficult to prevent the Magners brand from becoming an also-ran.

Sunday Indo Business