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Australia: Boag’s takes on VB

Victoria Bitter (VB) – flagship beer of Australia’s biggest beer brand, Foster’s – does not have the vice-like grip on barbecues, parties and beer mats it enjoyed 20 years ago, and that has got some beverage analysts worried.

The beer of choice under the pergola and around the pool is increasingly Boag’s, a beer made in Australia’s Tasmania, owned by the Japanese and sold by the truckload in the Australian state of Victoria.

Goldman Sachs JBWere analyst Ian Abbott believes Boag’s, part of Lion Nathan’s portfolio, is on the cusp of a fresh wave of popularity in VB’s home territory. He said that if the penetration continued, it could sink Foster’s national market share and cost the beer and wine company AUD100 million (USD91.6 million) in revenue and AUD40 million (USD36.6 million) in pre-tax earnings. Abbott said that after years of failing to crack the fiercely loyal Victorian market, Lion Nathan now had a brand that resonated with Victorians.