- Foster's Lager
Foster's Lager is an internationally distributed
Australian brand of 4.9% abv pale lager. [ [http://www.fosters.com.au/enjoy/beer/fosters_lager.htm] Foster's website. Retrieved 1 September 2008] It is brewed under licence in several countries, including the United States, [ [http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2007/06/25/daily14.html "Miller to brew Foster's Lager"] . "St. Louis Business Journal". 26 June, 2007. Retrieved 1 September, 2008.] and Russia. [ [http://www.fosters.com.au/mediacentre/D55FA05E1F4E419D9C6A5D83A3835332.htm] Fosters Press Release, 29 November 2004. Retrieved 1 September 2008] The European rights to the beer are owned by Heineken International, who brew and distribute Foster's in most European countries including; the United Kingdom, Greece, France, Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Ukraineand the Republic of Ireland. In the United States and India, rights to the brand are owned by SABMiller. [ [http://www.sabmiller.com/sabmiller.com/en_gb/News+and+media/News+releases/Group+news/SABMiller+acquires+Fosters+India.htm "SABMiller acquires Foster's India"] . Press release. "SABMiller plc". 4 August, 2006.]
The Foster's brand is also used on several other beers.
Foster's United Kingdom web site claims that "Brits drink over 30 pints of the Amber Nectar every second". [ [http://www.fosters.co.uk/beer.htm "Fosters Lager - A Great Beer"] . "Fosters UK promotional web site". Retrieved
1 October, 2008.]
Foster's Lager was imported into the UK from Australia in its distinctly blue, white and gold cans since the early 1970s.
Awareness of the brand was spread in Britain by the satirical political magazine "Private Eye" which ran a cartoon series "The Adventures of Barry McKenzie" , featuring a bumbling Foster's swilling Australian "ex-pat".
In Britain, the Courage brewing group was acquired in 1986 by Australian "corporate raider" John Elliott. Perceiving the increasing popularity of imported Foster's Lager, it was decided to commence local brewing of the product by Courage.
While popular in many countries, particularly where it is brewed locally, Foster's Lager does not enjoy widespread success in Australia. As a bottled beer produced by the
Foster's Group(formerly the Carlton United Beverages group (CUB)) it is rarely promoted in Australia. Once a "premium" brand, Foster's Lager has been bypassed in favour of the Foster's Group's favoured premium brands of Carlton Crown Lager and Stella Artois. [ Stella Artois is brewed in Australia under licence from Belgian beer conglomerate InBev.] [ [http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/08/18/1092765016049.html?from=storylhs "Cheers! Why every brewer loves a premium beer or two"] , www.smh.com.au, 18 Aug 2004.]
Australians are both parochial and provincial about their beers; few beers are popular Australia-wide. The top selling beers in each state are: Fact|date=December 2007
*New South Wales:
Tooheys; Victoria Bitter
XXXX; Victoria Bitter; Tooheys
*South Australia: Coopers; West End
*Tasmania: Cascade Draught; Boags Draught
Victoria Bitter; Carlton Draught; Melbourne Bitter
*Western Australia: Swan; Emu;
In Australia until the end of the 1970s, Foster's Lager was a reasonably popular bottled and canned beer with a somewhat premium image. Then in the early 1980s there were major changes in the Australian brewing industry, including the merger of Castlemaine (Brisbane), Swan (Perth) and Toohey's (Sydney) into a national brewing group, as a result of acquisitions by Perth entrepreneur
Alan Bond. In Queensland the high-volume Power's brewerywas established by local entrepreneur Bernie Power.
Faced with inroads into its non-Victorian markets, Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) reviewed its product range and attempted to re-position some of its brands. So Foster's Draught was introduced, served on tap alongside established draught brands such as Castlemaine XXXX and Toohey's Draught. Despite some initial success, bolstered by heavy advertising, the brand did not prove popular and was eventually withdrawn from sale. Arguably, at the end of this failed exercise Foster's Lager was no longer viewed by consumers as a "premium" brand, and has not been promoted in Australia recently.
The Foster's Group has tended to promote the brands of
Carlton Draught(mainstream market) and Victoria Bitter(working class male market). [http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/02/14/bloomberg/sxfosters.php.] As an "also-ran", Foster's Lager will no doubt be brewed as a bottled and canned beer in Australia for the foreseeable future, at least for sentimental reasons. These days (2007), it is relatively difficult to find in smaller bottle shops, and is seldom found on tap.
Power's Brewery, south of Brisbane, was taken over by CUB [http://www.australasian-gaming.com.au/articles/23-cubyatala.htm] and is now used to brew Victoria Bitter and other Foster's Group brands in Queensland, (including Foster's Lager).
In April 2006,
Scottish & Newcastle plcannounced that it has agreed to acquire the Foster’s brand in Europe (including Turkey), the Russian Federation and other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent Statesfrom Foster’s Group Limited for approximately £309 million. In August 2006, SABMillerannounced that it had bought the rights to the Foster's brand in India for a reported $120m from private investors. [ [http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/consumer_goods/article704447.ece S&N turns on Foster's tap in Europe - Times Online ] ] [ [http://www.scottish-newcastle.com/snplc/media/news/2006/2006-05-17/ Scottish & Newcastle - Scottish & Newcastle completes the acquisition of the Foster’s brand in Europe, the Russian Federation and other countries in th ] ]
Scottish & Newcastle has also launched " [http://www.fosterstwist.co.uk Foster's Twist] ", a beer with a hint of citrus that is marketed as a refreshing alternative to other heavier beers and
Premium Packaged Spiritssuch as Smirnoff Ice. Foster's Twist is 4.5% abv.
There is also Foster's Super Chilled, which is served at a colder temperature and is available in pubs and bars.
In 2008, Foster's was introduced with a widget called a "scuba" placed into the can to ensure good mixing. [http://www.talkingretail.com/products/9071/SN-launches-widget-versions-of.ehtml] This variant is only currently available in the UK.
In the UK, customers are also able to purchase a keg of Foster's for private parties, collecting and returning the keg at a participating store or public house.
Foster's Lager uses the slogan "The Amber Nectar" in Australia and the UK and "Australian for Beer," performed by
Bob Ingersole, elsewhere overseas. The overseas advertising of the product often focuses upon the Australian connotations of the beer, e.g. with reference to stereotypical Australian imagery such as kangaroos, exaggerated accents, and cork hats.
The most recent slogan in the UK is, "Well you wouldn't want a warm beer would ya". This slogan goes with the advertisements that are currently featured on UK television.
The Foster's Lager brand was used as an advertising sponsorship deal with Norwich City Football Club from 1988 until 1993. At its commencement, the sponsorship by Foster's was the most lucrative sponsorship ever given to an English football club. The brand was also used in a sponsorship deal with the
Australian Grand Prixfrom 1986-1993 then 2002-2006.
* [http://www.fostersbeer.com/ Foster's in the US]
* [http://www.fosters.co.uk/ Foster's in the UK]
* [http://www.fosterstwist.co.uk/ Foster's Twist]
* [http://www.australianbeers.com/beers/interview/ohoy/ohoy.htm Interview with CEO of Foster's Group]
* [http://www.australianbeers.com/beers/fosters/fosters.htm Foster's History]
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