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Farsons' beer exports to Italy increase 12/2/2010

The group of Italian importers and distributors of Cisk beers on a recent visit to Malta with officials from Simonds Farsons Cisk plc

Simonds Farsons Cisk has recently hosted a group of over 10 Italian distributors and importers, reporting that its beer exports to the Italian market are making new inroads.

Over the last five years Farsons’ beer exports to Italy have increased by around 50% per annum with sales of Cisk Export Premium Lager, Cisk Extra Strong and Farsons Strong Ale showing steady growth. This has been due in large part to the quality of the product being offered and the company’s successful expansion of its network of importers and distributors.

The company now has a network of 13 regional importers across the Italian peninsula from Catania in Sicily to Milan up in the North that distribute Cisk to the on-premise trade, namely bars and restaurants rather than supermarkets.

The company’s strategy in Italy rests on incrementally building the brand from the bottom up by focusing its efforts in penetrating the on-trade, particularly bars, clubs and restaurants and by offering beers that differentiate it from the competition. Special brews like Farsons Strong Ale and Cisk Extra Strong have been developed specifically for the Italian market where consumers often prefer their beers to have a higher alcoholic content with a more robust character.

A spokesperson for the company indicated that “exporting is never easy and trying to make in-roads in the Italian beer market, which is dominated by global beer brands and which has been badly hit by the recession, has proven challenging. Fortunately we have also benefited from practical support provided by Malta Enterprise and so far we are holding our own in the Italian market, particularly within the speciality beer segment. We still have a long way to go, but judging by the acceptable results so far, we do have the right ingredients in place for further growth.”