SABMiller plc (SAB.L) one of the world’s leading brewers, today announces that China Resources Snow Breweries Limited (“CR Snow”), its joint venture with China Resources Enterprise Limited (“CRE”), is launching a trial of SABMiller’s international premium brand, Miller Genuine Draft, in the Zhejiang region of China.
The introduction of Miller Genuine Draft into the Zhejiang market gives the company the opportunity to test the potential for its international brand with a premium beer imported from the USA.
The joint venture has achieved significant growth for local brand ‘Snow’, which is both the largest beer brand in China and in the world by volume. CR Snow had a 21% share of the Chinese beer market with sales of more than 92 million hectolitres (1 hectolitre = 100 litres) in 2010.
CR Snow is the exclusive importer and will utilise its existing infrastructure to service the market, with Miller Genuine Draft initially available in Hangzhou and Wenzhou following a launch event to be held in Hangzhou on 16th January.
Ari Mervis, SABMiller’s Managing Director, Asia Pacific, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to introduce one of our international brands into the fast-growing premium segment in China in a way which takes advantage of CR Snow’s strong market position in the region.”
Zhejiang is one of the largest markets in Central China and its capital, Hangzhou, has one of the highest GDPs of the provincial large cities.