Molson Coors has announced the acquisition of Aspall Cyder, the 290 year old Suffolk-based cider maker.
Founded in 1728 by Clement Chevallier and run by the eighth generation of his family, Aspall is an established premium brand with an established presence in the UK and Ireland. Aspall also produces specialty vinegars, including Aspall Organic Cyder vinegar, which is made using a fermentation process that is the only one of its kind in the world.
Aspall operates from a single site in the parish of Aspall, Suffolk, where the Chevallier family first planted the orchards at Aspall Hall. Members of the family will remain part of the business and will play a role in shaping the strategic direction of the company.
Sales at Aspall grew by 10% in 2016. The overall cider market in the UK grew by 25% between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to continue its growth trajectory until 2020.
Molson Coors will be investing in Aspall’s Suffolk operation, and the company will operate as part of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, within the Molson Coors European business unit. Aspall will continue to press, ferment, keg and bottle at the Cyder House in Suffolk.
Phil Whitehead, Managing Director of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to add Aspall to the Molson Coors portfolio. Both companies share a similar history that is deeply rooted in family, dedication to customers and a commitment to excellence. The Chevallier’s have been producing cyder 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 cyder in the UK and building on the huge potential of the Aspall vinegars, as part of an ongoing strategy to premiumise our portfolio.”
Barry Chevallier Guild, Aspall Chairman, said: “This is an important milestone in Aspall’s long history and a proud day for everyone involved with the company. Having been in close discussions with Molson Coors for over a year, we were delighted to find that they share our rich heritage, passion for making quality cyder and vision for the future development of Aspall and its people. 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.”
Henry Chevallier Guild added: “There is a real opportunity to elevate and grow the status of English cyder in the UK and abroad both as a beverage and as an excellent partner for food. We believe that Molson Coors investment will provide the catalyst to grow Aspall and build the recognition for quality cider worldwide.”