25 Jun 2012

New cider business could export to Asia

6:27 am on 25 June 2012

DB Breweries says its newly formed joint venture cider business could eventually export to South-East Asia.

The Asian-owned brewer has bought a majority stake in the Nelson-based Redwood Cellars for an undisclosed amount, and both firms will put their cider brands into a new joint venture, called Redwood Cider.

DB Breweries managing director Brian Blake says the cider market is worth about $70 million per year, and in size, is about 3% of the beer market.

Mr Blake says it means the brewer can concentrate on the competitive and mature beer market, and the model may be extended to its small ready to drink, or RTD, business.

He says DB is also looking offshore because it has been selling a lot of cider in Australia where the market is growing quickly and he believes eventually South-East Asia will provide an opportunity for Redwood Cider as well.

Mr Blake says DB has associated companies through Asia-Pacific Breweries in most of the South-East Asian countries, so it has immediate distribution in those markets if it decide that's part of its strategy.