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Carlton & United Breweries

cub.com.au

Founded Year

1903

Stage

Acquired | Acquired

Valuation

$0000 

About Carlton & United Breweries

Carlton & United Breweries is an Australian brewing company.

Headquarters Location

77 Southbank Boulevard

Southbank, Victoria, 3006,

Australia

1800 007 282

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Latest Carlton & United Breweries News

Asahi buys StrangeLove as ‘adult’ soft drinks take off

Oct 3, 2022

Share Beer and soft drinks giant Asahi Beverages, which owns the Carlton & United Breweries business which makes Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught, has acquired premium low-calorie soft drinks and mixers group StrangeLove nine years after it was established. Asahi Beverages chief executive Robert Iervasi said StrangeLove had been growing fast in a broader category which would largely be immune from an economic downturn as consumers continued to trade up to higher-end products. “We actually think the premiumisation trend will continue. People still want to treat themselves,” Mr Iervsai said. “Beverages have been quite resilient to recessionary environments.” StrangeLove was founded in Byron Bay in 2013 by James Bruce and Stafford Fox. It makes about 55 per cent of its sales in hospitality venues such as restaurants and bars, 35 per cent in retail, and 10 per cent from the online channel. Advertisement It has 25 products including Tonic No. 8 , Lo-Cal Yuzu, Double Ginger, “Fancy Lemonade” and a range of premium sparkling mineral waters. The company, now based in Melbourne, uses outside contract manufacturers to make its drinks. Co-founder Mr Bruce said revenue was up 100 per cent in the past two years despite the COVID-19 restrictions in 2021 which hurt the hospitality industry. The business has expanded its presence in the supermarket channel, and is now stocked in the aisles of about 300 Woolworths supermarkets, along with traditional liquor retailers such as Dan Murphy’s, owned by Endeavour Group, and a range of Coles Group liquor stores such as First Choice. Mr Bruce said StrangeLove’s Tonic No.8 was the biggest selling product line, but it was relatively even across the range. The company was set up in 2013 amid Byron Bay’s burgeoning “organic food scene”. “I was having a bit of a mid-life crisis at age 30,” he said. The unique name came about as a reference to people wanting to drink healthier products with lower calories and lower sugar content. “Originally it was about self-love and taking care of yourself,” he said. It was not a reference to the 1960s black comedy movie Dr Strangelove directed by Stanley Kubrick. Advertisement Mr Iervasi said retailers were allocating more shelf space to non-alcoholic premium beverages, while Asahi would also expand StrangeLove’s reach through its existing hospitality venues distribution network. He declined to comment on the purchase price. “It was an exciting business that we had identified and we had been watching,” he said. Extra grunt Asahi Beverages intended to run StrangeLove as a stand-alone business, but use the Asahi distribution clout to bring it to more consumers. “That helps us maintain the DNA of what it is,” Mr Iervasi said. Asahi already has a large softdrinks business in Australia and is the owner of the Schweppes range. The Japanese-owned conglomerate bought Carlton & United Breweries for $16 billion in 2020 , giving it ownership of beer brands Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught and Crown Lager. Asahi has also been expanding in other drinks segments, buying Australasian coffee business Allpress in 2021. CUB in the past few years has bought up several craft beer brands to add extra grunt, as the craft beer segment grows much faster than the mainstream beer category. It acquired Pirate Life, 4Pines and Balter Brewing in quick succession from 2017 to 2019. StrangeLove’s Mr Bruce said one of the larger competitors in the premium softdrinks and mixers category was Fever-Tree, owned by a British company. “There’s competitive tension there for sure,” he said. Mr Iervasi said StrangeLove being a home-grown Australian brand should help its penetration in the local market. Simon Evans writes on business specialising in retail, manufacturing, beverages, mining and M&A. He is based in Adelaide. Connect with Simon on Twitter . Email Simon at simon.evans@afr.com Save

Carlton & United Breweries Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Carlton & United Breweries founded?

    Carlton & United Breweries was founded in 1903.

  • Where is Carlton & United Breweries's headquarters?

    Carlton & United Breweries's headquarters is located at 77 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank.

  • What is Carlton & United Breweries's latest funding round?

    Carlton & United Breweries's latest funding round is Acquired.

  • Who are the investors of Carlton & United Breweries?

    Investors of Carlton & United Breweries include Asahi Group Holdings.

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