Netherlands: Heineken puts faith in innovation, namesake brand – report

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Heineken is investing more resources in its namesake beer brand and wants to benefit more greatly from innovations as it seeks to offset the group’s exposure to sluggish beer markets, according to a report.
The Netherlands-based brewer wants to double the contribution of innovations to group net sales within the next decade, Heineken’s chief commercial officer, Alexis Nasard, is quoted as saying in a Reuters report yesterday (26 January). Innovations made in the last three years currently account for 3% of sales, he said.
The brewer is also investing more heavily behind the Heineken brand, Nasard added, as is evidenced by the launch of a global advertising campaign on the brand earlier this month.
“We are increasing the emphasis on the Heineken brand in terms of resource allocation and investment,” he told Reuters. “The early signs from our new campaign are very encouraging.”
Heineken has a claim to be the most improved brewer of 2010 following its acquisition of FEMSA Cerveza early in the year. The deal significantly increased the firm’s exposure to emerging markets, a move that many analysts believed was necessary for the company to progress. The group is also building a strong presence in Africa and has acquired a 37.5% stake in India’s leading brewer, United Breweries.
At the same time, however, Heineken’s exposure to mature beer markets in Western Europe remains relatively high. Excluding the addition of FEMSA Cerveza to results, Heineken’s beer volumes and net sales both dropped by 2% for the third quarter of 2010.