Molson Coors, Heineken Expand Partnership in Canada

Agreement adds five brands to above-premium portfolio

Molson Coors Heineken beer marketing deal

DENVER & MONTREAL -- Molson Coors Brewing Co. and Heineken N.V. have expanded their marketing partnership in Canada, whereby Molson Coors Canada will assume responsibility for distributing five additional Heineken brands in Canada.

The new, multiyear agreement strengthens the existing Molson Coors and Heineken relationship, which has developed over the past two decades, according to the companies. In addition to Heineken, Murphy’s, Newcastle and Strongbow, Molson Coors Canada will assume the rights to market and sell Dos Equis, Sol, Tecate, Birra Moretti and Desperados. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, Molson Coors Canada will have the rights to market and distribute these brands on behalf of Heineken.

“We are excited that Heineken has chosen us to take on the stewardship of their full portfolio of brands in Canada. As we work to grow our share in the above-premium segment, this new agreement represents an important win for our business and complements nicely our existing portfolio of leading Canadian beer brands,” said Stewart Glendinning, chief executive officer and president of Molson Coors Canada. “We have had a valued partnership with Heineken in Canada for many years, and, as always, we will remain focused on building the Heineken portfolio of brands through strong marketing support, investment and innovation.”

Part of changing consumer tastes involves a strong appetite for imported beers among Canadian drinkers. The imported beer segment makes up 14% of the overall market in Canada, and it has experienced sales increases of approximately +4% over the past year. The new Heineken brands will help Molson Coors address this trend and provide more options for customers, which is one of the company’s key imperatives.

“We look forward to our expanded partnership with Molson Coors with a joint focus on increased investment in brands,” said Laurent Odinot, general manager of Heineken Canada. “Molson Coors’ strong, established presence in Canada and its emphasis on continued innovation will undoubtedly help Heineken’s wide range of products reach even more consumers.”

As part of the new agreement, Molson Coors has also agreed to extend the existing partnership with Heineken to distribute Coors Light in Ireland.

Molson Coors Brewing Co. brews, markets and sells a portfolio of leading premium brands such as Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Carling, Staropramen and Blue Moon across the Americas, Europe and Asia. It operates in Canada through Molson Coors Canada; in the U.S. through MillerCoors; across Europe through Molson Coors Europe; and outside these core markets through Molson Coors International.

Heineken, an independent global brewer, brews Heineken, Amstel, Anchor, Biere Larue, Bintang, Birra Moretti, Cruzcampo, Desperados, Dos Equis, Foster’s, Newcastle Brown Ale, Ochota, Primus, Sagres, Sol, Star, Strongbow, Tecate, Tiger and Zywiec.