Suffolk/Brazil: Cheers! A taste of home for fans as Aspalls Cyder and Greene King beer is served at the World Cup
18:16 03 July 2014
Football fans in Brazil for the World Cup have been able to celebrate − or, in England’s case, to drown their sorrows − with a taste of Suffolk.
Bury St Edmunds-based brewer Greene King and cider maker Aspall from near Debenham, which have already established a national reputation within their respective domestic markets, are both targeting Brazil as part of effort to build an overseas trade.
An export drive by Greene King has seen its premium ale Old Speckled Hen become somthing of a hit in Brazil, with a number of its other beers also now making an impression.
Richard Cutler, export sales director at Greene King, said: “Old Speckled Hen has been extremely well received in Brazil; we experience strong year-round demand for our products in both bars and pubs, and cans for at-home enjoyment.
“While Old Speckled Hen is our lead brand, it paved the way for other members of the ‘Hen’ family to enter the market; Old Crafty Hen, Hen’s Tooth and Old Golden Hen all have a strong and growing presence too. We are very happy with the growth we are seeing and are working hard on further opportunities.”
Greene King Strong Suffolk Ale and Abbot Reserve are also available in Brazil, along with Twisted Thistle, Wee Heavy and Scottish Stout from the group’s other brewery, Belhaven, in Dunbar.
“The Brazilian consumer is becoming more intrigued by the variety of beer styles out there,” Mr Cutler added. “Brazil itself is experiencing an explosion of micro and craft breweries and so customers are exploring what is available both locally, and imported from abroad.”
Aspall, founded by Clement Benjamin Chevallier in 1728, has footballing connections dating back to Victorian times when John Barrington (JB) Chevallier played in four FA Cup finals for the Old Etonians, with a record of one two, lost two.
Aspall’s Premier Cru and Perronelle’s Blush ciders are both available in Sao Paulo, the venue for World Cup matches including England’s 2-1 defeat by Uruguay which virtually sealed Roy Hodgson’s men’s exit from the the tournament.
However, like Greene King, Aspall’s presence in the country is not specifically related to the World Cup as, despite JB’s exploits all those years ago, football is not part of the company’s present day brand image or marketing strategy.
It has, however, been targeting Brazil for the last three years, along with other developing markets such as Russia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Aspall partner Henry Chevallier-Guild, part of the eighth generation of the family to be involved in the business, said that demand in Brazil was largely driven at present by ex-pats, with its products having a loyal following in some Irish and European bars in Sao Paulo.
However, the wider market in Brazil was proving tougher to crack, with cider currently being perceived as prodominantly a female drink and locally-producer ciders being targeted and the lower end of the market.