The trend of complication of Russian beer market is going on and in several directions at the same time. The range has got wider, the import and small segments are growing, namely craft beer, alcohol-free beer and special flavor beer. At the same time, all ex-mega brands and light lagers by Russian brewers are experiencing a decline of their shares. AB InBev Efes, Heineken, MBC and Pivzavod Trekhsosenskiy have exceeded the market, Carlsberg was developing slower than the market and Ochakovo as well as some other mid-sized breweries have been cutting down their volumes. To a big extent brewers’ performance was connected to their ability to reach agreement with networks, sacrifice their margin and enter new markets. Craft brewers are facing a serious danger of producers’ registration introduction – de facto licensing. ...
The global outlooks of the legal market of cannabis are excellent. It is possible to simultaneously imagine dry law repeal and craft brewing boom but not in one but in several consumer categories. For alcohol is contained in liquids and cannabis derivatives can be in three physical forms. The value of legal market of cannabis and its products can reach 10% of the world beer market in five years, and in 2030-2040 even reach the same scope provided the current rates of legalization and development of market infrastructure remain at the same level. Cannabinoids are actively integrating into the food industry from chewing gum to beverages deforming the pharmaceutical and alcohol markets, they influence the trends of healthy lifestyle and beauty. ...
Beer market of Kazakhstan acquired both traits of East European countries and South Eastern Asia taking a transitional position between them by many criteria and consumption style. Yet there is a positive trend in beer production which differs Kazakhstan from most of the neighboring countries. The market has remained consolidated in the hands of two international players because of its small size. However, it faces dynamic processes such as fast growth of draft beer sales, up and downs of regional companies and Carlsberg Group’s ultimate expansion. Excessive mainstream segment has declined over the recent years, yet, Zhigulevskoe and national brands with regional links have yielded their positions to a range of new products. In our review special attention was paid to regional analysis of the markets. In 14 regions of Kazakhstan we compared the companies’ positions, the market price segmentation and DIOT channel development. Besides we have compared the beer market of Kazakhstan to neighboring countries. ...
The Wehring Interview – Heineken – Part II
Just prior to upping its presence in Brazil and Mexico, when it bought FEMSA Cerveza in January last year, Heineken finally settled its protracted discussions with The UB Group in another emerging market for the world's brewers, India. Almost two years after teaming up with Carlsberg to buy Scottish & Newcastle, which held a 37.5% stake in UB's United Breweries unit, Heineken finally came away from the discussions with a deal with the Indian drinks giant.
Two years! What on earth could the two sides have not talked about in two years? “It was a very simple – and understandable – issue,” explains van Boxmeer. “(UB Group owner) Vijay Mallya made a deal with Scottish & Newcastle. Suddenly, we pop up, and he's expected to sit with someone else at the table. That needs some talks, and I think that's normal.
“You have the legal side of things and what the contracts are, but then you have to cut through these things. You have a guy who has a partnership with someone and then that someone becomes someone else. It's normal you sit and discuss the matter. For us, the partnership we were working out with Dr Mallya was a very important one, one which will be meaningful for the next 25 years. So, it was worth taking our time.”
Since settling the matter in late-2009, van Boxmeer appears more than happy with the cut of Heineken's cloth in the country.
“India has subsequently been stellar for us – there is no other word,” he says. “In terms of margin and market improvements and how the market is performing generally, everything is heading in the right direction. United Breweries is above 50% market share now, and we were below that when we started. So, no, it's really stellar.”
Looking back to early-2008, when Carlsberg and Heineken ganged up on S&N, I recall how it looked at the time like the two brewers were sharing the spoils nicely. Since then, however, some observers – ourselves included – formed the opinion that maybe Carlsberg had fared better from the carve-up than Heineken. Maybe, van Boxmeer's in that camp as well?
No, I didn't think so either.
“No, certainly not,” he retorts, when I ask if Carlsberg got the better half. “It's a matter of timing. The lion's share of the value of S&N when we did the acquisition was the UK. But, the UK has suffered a perfect storm. So, we came in at the wrong time. But, today, Heineken UK is the leading beer and cider company in the country. In the last three years, we've had to restructure a lot more than we thought we'd have to. But, we're now back on track. The UK is a difficult market, but it's not the only difficult market in Europe.
Heineken's CEO, Jean-Fran?ois van Boxmeer
“If you take the long view on Europe, it's still a good environment to do business in, even if it's much tougher than some emerging markets.
“Take a look at the India part of the S&N deal,” he continues. “If you look at the demographics, they only drink 1.3 litres of beer per capita – that's where China was 35 years ago. Even if the country gets to half of what China has raised to in the next 20 or 25 years, it's a huge opportunity - this is the strategic price of S&N. We didn't only want to make sure we would stay leaders on our home turf in Europe.”
A sound investment, then. Meanwhile, back in the present, one of the main regions for investment for Heineken is in Africa. Not only has the company teamed with Diageo to build a brewery in South Africa, but only this month the company won the bidding race for two facilities in Ethiopia. Although both examples I cite are recent, van Boxmeer is keen to highlight that the company has form in the region.
“Africa was one of Heineken's first anchorage points,” he says. “We were quick to get a presence in the French, Belgian and British colonies. The Dutch sailed everywhere and took a presence in such markets. We have been present in Africa since between the two world wars.
“Political stability in the African markets is improving, and the middle classes are emerging – that is what our business is thriving on. Africa won't be left at the side of the road; the rest of the world needs Africa. I see big improvements there, it's the cornerstone of our business. We have been multiplying the profits from our operations in Africa by five in around eight years – it's one of the biggest growth engines we have. What Brazil is for A-B InBev, Africa is for Heineken. Sure, it's smaller than Brazil, but we are also earlier in the growth curve.”
As we've already discussed in our hour together, Heineken has stepped deeper into A-B InBev and SABMiller's back yards – Brazil and South Africa - in the last 18 months. How's that for a statement of intent?
“I'm not looking to attack whoever aggressively,” van Boxmeer clarifies. “We target consumers, we don't target competitors. We're there to take opportunities in those two markets, not to commit suicide!”
The analysts that van Boxmeer is scheduled to meet after talking to me are starting to mill, and one or two of them look handy. Time for one more (question, not beer).
Last year, Heineken enjoyed what must have been a perfect day, marketing-wise: As well as the final of rugby's Heineken Cup in Paris, Saturday 22 May also saw Bayern Munich and Inter Milan duke it out in football's Champions' League final – a tournament Heineken is also a major sponsor of – in Madrid.
“I went to the Champions League final,” said van Boxmeer. “It's not that I don't like rugby, I just don't understand it!”
Jean-Fran?ois van Boxmeer is a native of that rugby powerhouse, Belgium.
27 мая. 2011