Norway: REMA 1000 gives in in beer war

Norway’s grocery chain REMA 1000 has given in in Norway’s recent beer war and has agreed to continue to sell Mack beer in its stores in the three northernmost counties. The original agreement, which was introduced earlier this year as part of the so called best friend strategy intended a concentration on a few strong suppliers on a national basis and removing the products of regional suppliers.

Mack Bryggeri is a privately owned small brewery in Balsfjord, 70km south of Tromsø, Norway with a production of less than 50,000 hl. It is supposedly the world's northernmost commercial brewery. The newly extended sales agreement with Rema may reverse Mack’s decision to lay off 30 full time employees, which was announced after the loss of the national agreement.

“This is an important victory for Mack and for consumers in Northern Norway, who have said with clarity that they want Mack with Rema 1000,” says CEO of Mack, Harald Bredrup. And he continues: “This agreement reinforces our position as a strong regional brewery, also in REMA 1000. Now I would just encourage consumers in the region to support their favorite beer next time they shop with Rema 1000.”

Managing Director of REMA Category and procurement, Lars Kristian Lindberg adds: “The commitment that we have seen in recent months clearly demonstrates that Mack has a strong position in North Norway. Now we hope that northerners show the same commitment and buy Mack when they visit their local REMA 1000 shop next time.”

Still, it remains to be seen what happens with other local beer suppliers like Hansa Borg Bryggerier, that also announced to cut 40 jobs as a consequnence of being delisted by REMA 1000 following the new best fried strategy.

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