Greene King targets refrigerated convenience market with new-look Old Speckled Hen

Greene King has launched 4 x 335ml four-packs of Old Speckled Hen in a bid to earn a place in the fridge at convenience stores across the UK.

It coincides with a new look for the popular brand, which is now described as a “distinctive English pale ale” on the pack.

Matt Starbuck, managing director at Greene King Brewing & Brands, said: “Ninety percent of Old Speckled Hen is enjoyed cool and carbonated, either at home, in bottle or can format or as a keg beer in the pub.

“We’ve introduced the new branding to reflect this giving it a fresher, cleaner and more contemporary look. 

“So often consumers think they either have to opt for flavour or refreshment, with little option for both at the same time. Old Speckled Hen delivers on both, as a beer that is best enjoyed cold yet packed with malty characteristics.  Light on hops, but full on malt, it is moreishly drinkable, in contrast to some of the challenging hop forward beers in the market.”

Old Speckland Hen was first brewed by Morland & Co 40 years ago to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MG motorcar factory in Abingdon. It has been part of the Greene King portfolio for several years now and the firm has tried to update the beer’s image while cherishing its roots.

New formats include 10 x 335ml bottle multipacks, 4 x 500ml cans and 10 x 500ml cans.

Last month, it was announced that Hong Kong’s richest family has secured a deal to buy 220-year-old brewer Greene King for £2.7 billion.

Li Ka-shing has already snapped up Superdrug and Three Mobile along with various British utilities, and now he owns one of the UK’s biggest drinks companies.

His eldest son, Victor Li Tzar Kuoi, is chairman of CKA Group and will swallow up Greene King when the cash deal goes through.

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, said: “Greene King has a well-invested estate in prime locations, leading brands, a rich history and a talented team of around 38,000 people serving millions of customers across the country every week.

“CKA is an experienced UK investor and shares many of Greene King’s business philosophies.

“They understand the strengths of our business and we welcome their commitment to working with the existing management team, evolving the strategy and investing in the business to ensure its continued long-term growth.”

Shares in Greene King surged by more than 50% on the back of the news.

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