Fruit flavoured beer is a new craze in Croatia

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Fruit-flavoured beer known as “Radler” in Germany or “shandy” in the UK has become a summer hit in Croatia taking up a five to 10 per cent share in beer market sales.

A mixture of alcoholic beverage, sugar and fruit juice (most often lemon), the new drinks are taking Croatians by storm, to the delight of manufacturers and traders.

The president of the Zagreb Hospitality Guild of Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (HOK) Nenad Sepak says that the sales of these beverages have gone up 20 per cent in his catering facilities. This has affected negatively the consumption of juices, but Sepak believes that once the hype is over, fruit flavoured beer sales will stabilise at around seven per cent of the total beer sales.

The spokesperson for supermarket chain Mercator-H Lea Marcijus says their shelves are filled with all possible tastes currently available on the Croatian market.

In the last three months, the share of “Radlers” in their store’s beer offering has grown by more than 12 per cent without apparent affects on other beers.

Rough estimates say that the fruit flavoured beer will earn around 330 million kunas (44 million Euros) of revenues for the beer industry estimated to rake in 3.3 billion kunas (443 million Euros).

But while many are excited about the possibilities that the new beverage seems to be offering, competition is fierce. Karlovac brewery has protected the trade mark “Radler” for its fruit flavoured beer from 2001 to 2021. But since “Radler” is a common name for a category of mixed beverages in Germany – the country of origin – Carlsberg Croatia has started the process of annulment for the protections they say are applied to a generic term common in Europe.

“There are numerous products that contain the name “Radler” on EU markets for purposes of specifying the category of drinks, the same as in Croatia,” says Ivana Tavra from Carlsberg Croatia that launched their Pan Radler.

Croatia is a significant exporter of beer with about 10 millin Euros of surplus over the last several years. Every 10th beer drunk in Croatia comes from imports. In 2010, Croatians drank 3,308 million hektolitres of beer. And although the last two years have seen a drop in consumption of 11.7 per cent, the first five months promise a recovery, with a registered increase of 4.3 per cent, daily Jutarnji List writes.