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C&C Group

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C&C Group plc known prior to its flotation as Cantrell & Cochrane Limited, is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of alcoholic drinks, particularly cider It has production facilities across Ireland, the UK and the US but its products are sold around the world2


  • 1 History
  • 2 21st Century
  • 3 Sponsorship
  • 4 Production operations
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


The company was founded by Dr Thomas Cantrell who opened a shop in Belfast selling soft drinks in 1852; he went into partnership with Alderman Henry Cochrane, thereafter trading as Cantrell & Cochrane Limited3 Cochrane was appointed a baronet in 1903

A particularly famous product in Ireland is C&C Club Orange, a carbonated orange soft drink developed in the 1930s4 Other flavours were subsequently developed, such as Club Lemon and Club Rock Shandy an orange and lemon blend With C&C's increasing emphasis on alcoholic beverages, the Club range of soft drinks was sold to Britvic Ireland early in the 21st century

In 1937 William Magner acquired the rights to produce the Bulmers Cider brand in the Republic of Ireland from H P Bulmer5 C&C introduced Magners cider in 1999, as they only held rights to Bulmers in the Republic of Ireland and wanted to expand into the United Kingdom

In America the company saw a chance to challenge soft-drink giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola with its own C&C Cola An elaborate marketing scheme was launched in 1955, in connection with the television revival of 740 motion pictures produced by RKO Radio Pictures C&C Television Corporation reprinted the entire RKO library for nationwide syndication in the United States All of the features now began with a "C&C Movietime" title card, and TV stations showing the films would interrupt the telecasts for commercial mentions of C&C Cola Although the broadcast rights to the RKO library now belong to Turner Entertainment, licences to the C&C prints were granted in perpetuity, and stations that bought 16mm prints of the C&C films in the 1950s continue to show them today

21st Centuryedit

The company changed its name to C&C Group and then launched itself on the Irish Stock Exchange in 20046

The company started selling Magners cider in Northern Ireland, then in London, and then in the rest of England, Spain and Bavaria Sales exploded in 2005 and 2006, and the company had to bring forward expansion plans to meet forecast demand7 H P Bulmer, seeing their market share in the UK decline, relaunched their Bulmers cider in packaging similar to Magners and sold it to be served over ice, a concept introduced by C&C As a result of better distribution and better pricing, HP Bulmer regained some lost ground8

C&C acquired the Tennents lager brand and Wellpark Brewery in August 2009 from InBev9 Tennents is the largest lager brand in Scotland Tennents also has a large share of the Northern Irish lager market and it was intended this would strengthen Magners' position as Tennents and Magners would share distribution As part of the acquisition C&C will also exclusively distribute InBev brands on the island of Ireland, with the exception of Budweiser, which is distributed historically by Diageo10

In 2009 Magners had about 12% of the UK cider market C&C cut production and laid off staff at Clonmel in 2009 due to overcapacity11 In late 2009 C&C bought the Gaymer Cider Company giving them a large production facility in Somerset and a distribution warehouse in Bristol12

C&C sold its portfolio of spirits brands in May 2010 The largest of these was Tullamore Dew, the worlds second largest selling Irish whiskey after Jameson,13 Other brands are Carolans Irish Cream, Irish Mist and Frangelico, which are exported to over 80 international markets In April 2010, C&C announced it was selling its Spirits & Liqueurs division to Scottish distillers William Grant & Sons for €300m This would be used to pay down debt built up from the Tennents and Gaymers purchases The division's 57 staff, it was announced, would transfer with the business on disposal It was also revealed that William Grant, whose brands include Glenfiddich Scotch Whisky and Hendrick's Gin, would operate the division's packaging facility located at the group's manufacturing site in Clonmel, County Tipperary14

In October 2012 C&C bought the largest cider maker in the US, Vermont Hard Cider, for $305 million1516

In December 2015, C&C announced that Pabst would be taking over distribution of its cider brands in the US Pabst also gained the option to acquire C&C's two US cider brands, Woodchuck and Vermont17 In January 2016, further retrenchment was announced with the closure announced of the company's Shepton Mallett factory18 The factory was sold to Brothers Drinks Co in October and some C&C brands will continue to be produced there19


Like many alcohol companies, C&C invests heavily in sports sponsorship20 Their brands have used this method extensively Current and previous sponsorship includes the league now known as Pro12 Magners League, Tennents Scottish Cup, London Wasps, Edinburgh Rugby, Bath Rugby, Celtic FC, Dundee FC and Rangers FC

Production operationsedit

Clonmel's cider factory

Production takes place at:

  • Clonmel The Home of Bulmers Irish Cider, and main cider production facility
  • Wellpark Brewery Glasgow The historic home of Tennent's lager acquired in August 2009 from Inbev
  • Middlebury, Vermont Production facility for Cider in the US, including the Woodchuck brand


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2015" PDF C&C Group Retrieved 24 January 2016 
  2. ^ "Market Operation - C&C Group" Candcgroupplccom Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  3. ^ "Beverage Council of Ireland" Beveragecouncilofirelandie Archived from the original on 21 May 2013 Retrieved 2012-12-30 
  4. ^ "Our brands" Britvic Retrieved 24 January 2016 
  5. ^ "History - C&C Group" Candcgroupplccom Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  6. ^ Ireland's C&C Group readies IPO 27 April 2004
  7. ^ Finance "Sales of Magners cider triple" Telegraph Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  8. ^ "C&C chief Maurice Pratt quits after Magners cider loses its fizz" Telegraph Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  9. ^ "CA clears C&C takeover of Tennents - Hospitality News on" Barkeeperie Archived from the original on 2 October 2013 Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  10. ^ "UK | Scotland | Cider maker buys Tennent's lager" BBC News 2009-08-27 Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  11. ^ "Bulmers to shed 103 jobs in Clonmel - RTÉ News" Rteie 2009-02-19 Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  12. ^ "Babycham Gaymers Shepton Mallet |this is shepton mallet" This is Somerset 2009-12-03 Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  13. ^ "Sat, Dec 12, 2009 - Crack open something sweet" The Irish Times 2009-12-12 Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  14. ^ Everest in panoramic HD: "Plan to sell spirits division sends C&C shares soaring - Irish, Business" Independentie Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  15. ^ "Magners maker to buy US firm Vermont amid weak UK sales" Telegraph Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  16. ^ This week's Sunday Independent "Shares in C&C surge after company announces €234m Vermont Hard Cider acquisition - Irish, Business" Independentie Retrieved 2012-12-22 
  17. ^ http://wwwirishtimescom/business/agribusiness-and-food/c-c-signs-distribution-deal-with-us-brewer-pabst-12462974
  18. ^ https://wwwtheguardiancom/business/2016/jan/12/shepton-mallet-cider-mill-to-close
  19. ^ http://wwwmorningadvertisercouk/Drinks/Cider/Shepton-Mallet-cider-mill-saved-after-buyout
  20. ^ The best apps of 2012: "C&C to raise sponsorship spend on Scottish sports - European, Business" Independentie Retrieved 2012-12-22 

External linksedit

  • Official website

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