Marlborough’s Moa Beer is adding Canada to its export markets after upping its presence in North America.
Canadian craft beer drinkers soon get their first chance to enjoy a Moa – the first shipment of a container is en route to Richmond in British Colombia.
Moa has appointed Aqua Vita Imports of Vancouver as its new Canadian distributor. Moa General Manager Gareth Hughes says like the US, Canada has a growing craft beer market and consumers who demand quality.
This week the New Zealand owned and operated brewery also sends its fourth shipment to the People’s Republic – a container with 1,000 cases destined for Nansha, China.
Hughes says the company is focused on building a profile in high end Chinese liquor stores and restaurants through a local distribution partner.
“There is an emerging sophisticated food and beverage culture in China and we have the right distribution partner to gain share in the luxury beer segment. Our strength is the Moa Magnum where the Champagne bottle style and experience counts as a status symbol,” says Hughes.
Distribution partner Principal Edwin Yu says he first sampled Moa in Hong Kong in 2011.
“I immediately knew it would have a place in the Chinese market. Early signs for us are very strong with the brand and we will now carefully manage its growth through high end outlets."
Moa is also building presence in the US with Texas becoming a key state for the brand.
Hughes puts the US and Texan success down to demand for barrel aged brews and the growing popularity of New Zealand hops.
“Outside Texas we’re also seeing great results on the east coast. New York and New Jersey are competitive markets but Moa is developing a real presence among craft enthusiasts,” says Hughes.
The US craft beer market generated $8.7 billion in sales in 2011 recording 15 per cent growth in value and 13 per cent growth in volume during the year.
Moa Beer founder Josh Scott puts much of the recent sales growth down to the brand’s bottle conditioning process.
“It makes international marketing and supply that much easier. The stock has a much longer expiry date than normal which appeals to our existing and prospective distribution partners.”
Overall Moa Beer can now be found in 10 countries with main markets being New Zealand, Australia and the US.