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British pub chain JD Wetherspoon ditching Jagermeister

Alanna Petroff
Senior Economics Correspondent at Yahoo Finance UK
Wetherspoon pubs are set to phase out Jagermeister from their menus this month. Photo: PA/News 18

British pub chain JD Wetherspoon (JDW.L) has announced it’s going to phase out the popular German spirit Jagermeister from its menu in a politically motivated move.

The business, led by founder and chairman Tim Martin, has developed a reputation for its staunchly pro-Brexit stance. It said earlier this summer it would phase out other drinks from the European Union, including French champagne, in favour of British and non-EU beverages. It’s also printed pro-Brexit beer mats for its nearly 900 pubs.

The company said in a statement this week it would stop serving Jagermeister and French cognacs Courvoisier VS and Hennessy at the end of September.

It said the new replacement products would be sold at a lower price point. A shot of the Jagermeister replacement booze – Strika – would cost roughly 10p less.

“Wetherspoon has already replaced Champagne with sparkling wines from the UK and Australia in its pubs as well as German wheat beers with those from the UK,” the company said.

“All EU products have UK or non-EU replacements, often at equal or better quality and price,” said Martin in a written statement.

JD Wetherspoon is one of the few companies that have publicly supported Brexit, alongside the engineering company, Dyson. A range of other businesses, including manufacturers, retailers and financial service firms, have all warned about the risks of Brexit, leading to new tariffs and higher prices for companies and consumers.

A spokesperson for JD Wetherspoon said it did not make the menu swaps due to concerns about post-Brexit trading problems.

The company reported sales rose by about 5% in its latest half-year results.

Brexit is due to take effect on 29 March 2019.