More sustainable, more premium, more musical, less laddish

The world’s 3rd largest brewer (after Anheuser Busch InBev and Heineken) recently announced Thomasz Blawat as its new CEO. He is currently head of Carlsberg in Poland and will be joining on Janurary 1st. Carlsberg is determined to restore its brand in the UK, noting that the process will “take an investment of two to three years at least”. It has also sad it wants to broaden its partnerships as a brand in the UK.

Premium ambitions: The brand wants to drop its cheap and cheerful ‘laddish’ demeanour for a more intelligent and sophisticated tone, to appear more premium without alienating its existing audience. It announced the end of its sponsorship of England National Football Team, pivoting to five-year partnership with Live Nation as the official beer of festivals like Wireless, Latitude, Reading and Leeds, and TRNSMT. We expect new partnership in 2019 to reflect this with more live music and events and less football. One of its longest standing football partnerships – with Liverpool FC – is up at the end of the 2018-19 season.

On the wagon: Brits spent a record £43m on low and no-alcohol beer over the last 12 months. Carlsberg’s VP Marketing commented, “The UK has long been a nation known for its love of beer, but we have seen a step-change in people’s attitudes towards moderation when it comes to drinking”. More than half of UK consumers believe that drinking low or no-alcohol beer has become more socially acceptable in recent years, with generation Z individuals leading the shift.

Sustainability push: Carlsberg fundamentally redesigned its packaging this year, so it no longer uses plastic ring-top can holders and “greener ink” so packaging can be recycled. Instead it offers new “snap pack” technology which uses a glue to stick the pack together. The company has pledged to reduce the amount of plastic waste the company produces by over 1,200,000 kilograms every year under its “Together Towards ZERO” initiative. It had a presence at New York Climate Week to discuss its work in this area.

Media Spend Q1-3 2018: £3,224,990 (2017 £6.1m)

Partnerships: Live Nation (official beer of festivals like Wireless, Latitude, Reading and Leeds, and TRNSMT), Northamptonshire Community Foundation, New York Climate Week, Niels Bohr Institute, Mads Mikkelsen, Liverpool FC

Key decision-makers:

Vice President Marketing Liam Newton connect

Marketing Director Jonas Bjarkow connect

Head of Festivals & Events Nigel Bryant connect