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Fosters tells DB 'mine's bigger than yours'

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Monday 22nd January 2001

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Australian beer brands are poised to scoop up further market share in New Zealand as DB (NZSE: DBG) joins fellow brewer Lion Nathan (NZSE: LNN) in reducing the size of its beer cans.

DB announced last week it will move from 355ml to 330ml sized cans from next month, citing an industry trend as the key reason for the change. Rival brewer Lion changed its standard can size to 330ml last year.

However Fosters International New Zealand says it will not be reducing the size of its beer cans, claiming that any reduction in volume, without an accompanying lower price, is effectively a price increase.

"You're getting less beer and reportedly paying the same price. That's a price increase in anyone's terms," says Fosters New Zealand spokesman Andrew Bonner.

"Not only that, it's also adding insult to injury. Our leading VB and Foster's brands come in 375ml sizes whereas most of the competition's are 355ml cans."

Mr Bonner says there is no significant price difference between brands of similar positioning.

"Once the competition reduces its can size, you will be getting 12% less beer than you otherwise would if you'd bought one of our brands. That's a free beer for every nine cans you buy."

Mr Bonner said VB and Foster's Lager cans were 375ml and Stripe and Reschs were sold in 355ml cans. Other Australian imports, such as Crown Lager, are sold in 375ml bottles.

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