Thailand. Premium beer to stay flat, says Heineken

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Thailand’s premium-beer segment will remain steady or decline slightly this year, according to Prin Malakul, marketing director of Thai Asia Pacific Brewery, the manufacturer and distributor of Heineken.
Prin said Heineken, which has an 85-per-cent share of the local premium-beer market, has a sales-growth target of just 5 per cent this year.
“Our growth will depend on the tragic disaster in Japan, which will influence the world economy, as well as the political situation in Thailand,” he said.
The premium-beer market, worth about Bt7 billion, will fare better this year than in the past two or three years, when it declined by more than 10 per cent annually, he said.
“The main problem that will affect the growth or decline of the local beer market is the country’s overall environment, both in terms of the local economy as well as law and regulation. It will play a crucial part in supporting or hurting the business sector,” said Prin.
This year Heineken, together with the Union of European Football Associations, is bringing the Uefa Champions League Trophy as well as two soccer legends and trophy-tour ambas?sadors – Steve McManaman and Christian Karembeu – to Thailand.
The visit, which kicks off on last Friday in Chiang Mai and ran until last Saturday, and moves to Khon Kaen during March 25 to 27, is part of the Uefa Champions League Trophy Tour of Asia organised by Heineken.
Prin said the trophy tour came to Bangkok for the first time in 2007 and attracted more than 20,000 fans.
“We will host the trophy tour in Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen this time, as we’ve had many requests from football fans who want to experience the trophy in their own provinces. We expect to attract more than 20,000 football fans altogether this time,” Prin said.
“The Uefa Champions League is the best football tournament for the clubs. Sponsoring such a tournament will help promote Heineken as a leading beer brand in the world,” Prin said.
He added that each weekly match of the league was watched live by more than 150 million people in 220 countries.