Russia. Heineken to locally produce non-alcoholic Gősser

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The bottling of non-alcoholic beer under the Austrian brand was launched at Heineken’s breweries in St. Petersburg and Nizhniy Novgorod in April under a license agreement with the copyright holder — Brau Union Osterreich Aktiengesellschaft (Heineken’s subsidiary).

Heineken expands its Russian assortment with one of the most popular European brands of beer — the Austrian Gősser. In April 2016, the company’s breweries in Russia started bottling the first batches of non-alcoholic Gősser.

Non-alcoholic Gősser NaturGold is produced in Austria from 2013. It became the leader in this market segment already in 2014, taking 28.2% of it (Nielsen’s data at the end of 2015). The non-alcoholic version will be called Alkoholfrei Gősser on the Russian market. Johnny Cahill, Marketing Director of Heineken in Russia, says that the company wanted to underscore the absence in of alcohol in this beer, the proposed option proved to be the most understandable to Russian consumers.

“Despite the decline in the premium beer market, this segment has been stable over the past two years, primarily due to a change in beer consumption patterns, which are becoming more responsible. Our estimates show that the non-alcoholic beer market amounted to 850,000 hl, or 1% of the total market. We certainly support this trend by launching new brands,” said Johnny Cahill.

Gősser is a leading Austrian beer brand with a long history. This is Austrian lager beer, characterized by harmonious, full-bodied and slightly bitter taste. It forms firm foam and has an attractive golden color. The history of this brand dates back to 1860, when a brewer Max Kober arrived at the monastery of Hess in the Austrian city of Leoben. The monastery had long been known for its centuries-old tradition of brewing. Kober referred to it, while organizing the production of Gősser. Now, according to TNS’s research data, Gősser is the most popular beer in Austria, the slogan of the brand — Gut. Besser. Gősser, it was invented in 1960 and became part of Austrians’ daily life as one of the favorite national sayings.

The production of Gősser began in Russia a year ago – at five breweries of Heineken. Johnny Cahill says that the decision has become one of the most successful moves for the company in Russia — Gősser has turned into one of the fastest growing brands on the market, the sales have exceeded the planned volume by 60%.