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Coming to the fore: Carling Premier's relaunch should see the lager available across a wider playing field

Carling Premier finds new brand footing 

Theresa May’s shock announcement of a General Election almost overshadowed even more surprising news on the same day – the relaunch of Carling Premier.

The premium lager, nitrogenated to give it a smooth character, was launched by Bass Brewers alongside the equally smooth Caffrey’s ale in the mid-1990s. After an initial flurry of interest it slid steadily out of sight.

But it seems it never quite disappeared. Current brand owner Molson Coors reports that it has continued to be available “in selected on and off-trade outlets across the UK” and even has its “loyal fans”. According to Carling brand director Jim Shearer they have been expressing their enthusiasm for Premier on social media “and are eager for it to be available more widely”. 

Significantly, the relaunch also follows close behind Carling’s return to sponsorship of football’s Premier League – as its name suggests, the lager was originally closely associated with the brand’s sponsorship of the first eight seasons of the competition, from 1993 to 2001.

Molson Coors hopes the 4.7% abv beer will help in its larger mission to re-energise a flagging mainstream lager category by offering consumers something more premium.

“For us, relaunching Carling Premier now makes perfect sense,” explained Shearer. “Not only does it tie in with our partnership with the Premier League, it also comes at a time when many consumers are looking for something more premium.

“It’s the perfect complement to Carling original lager, with the same great taste and refreshment, but with a smoother mouthfeel and drinking experience.”

Draught Carling Premier will now be available to “all on-trade outlets wishing to stock the product”. In cans it has already secured nationwide listings with Tesco and the Co-op and it will hit the shelves in Morrisons and Asda later this year.

The relaunch is supported in the on-trade by a new T-bar design, a glass re-skin and other point-of-sale material. In the off-trade, its 440ml cans will feature Carling’s new brand identity, which was unveiled in February.

June 15th, 2017
Phil Mellows


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