Flavoured beers may breathe life into to the contracting market

By: trademagazin Date: 2011. 04. 19. 15:04

Beer sales continued to decline last year and as a special Hungarian trend the market share of beer in aluminium can kept growing. Edina Avvakumovits, the marketing director of Borsodi Brewery says: – Consumers are still preoccupied with the decades-old notion that canned beer stands for premium quality. Some discount stores prefer canned beer, which means certain brands are only available in cans. Sándor Lóránt Kovács, corporate development director of Dreher Breweries Ltd. told our magazine that breweries are aware of the important role they need to play in recycling, this is the reason why they launched their can-recollecting system. Despite that canned beer sales are growing, it is still in the beer sector where the proportion of returnable packaging is the highest: more than half of products are sold in this format (in the case of Dreher this proportion is even higher: 56 percent). According to Éva Kiss, Heineken Hungária Zrt.’s communications manager brewers can inspire consumers to return empty cans by installing aluminium can return vending machines and with return deposits. There are 23 such vending machines operating all over the country, which give 2.5 forints for a can in the form of a receipt that can be used for shopping in the stores. Another trend is that the PET bottle segment stopped growing – mostly because of the popularity of canned beer. What about retail channels? Well, an important change is that formerly important small shops have been losing ground in sales; canned beer expanded the most in hypermarkets (partly because here consumers got used to finding at least one premium beer at a reduced price), but bottled beer managed to stay strongest in small shops. Hungarian breweries and importers have been trying hard to increase sales on the contracting market. Accordingly, promotional prices have become decisive lately and several premium brands decided to step one price category lower. No wonder though that the proportion of products sold in promotion is above 60 percent. However, there are positive signs as well. Belgaco Kft., an importer of premium Belgian beers doubled sales in 2010 and expects a growth level of 20-25 percent for 2011. Owner János Tamáska told Trade magazin that economic recession did not affect the buyers of super premium beers. Belgaco imports fruit beers with low alcohol content and high alcohol content ales. Gusztáv Jakab, Liquid Gold Kft.’s commercial director informed us that in the first quarter of 2011 their brands expanded by 15 percent. Guinness, Lindemans, Estrella and Krusovice sales grew above the average. The Estrella range is a real novelty on the Hungarian market: Estrella Dam is the basic product, Estrella Daura can be consumed by people with wheat allergy, while Dab Diet is for people with diabetes. Another reason for optimism is that the attempt to rejuvenate the image of beer seems to be successful. Numerous flavoured beers with lower alcohol content entered the market. Last year Borsodi Friss appeared in shops and was more popular than the company expected. The company sponsors practically all first- and second-league football clubs, altogether with HUF 40 million. They can get further sponsorship from supporters: anyone who buys a bottle/can of Borsodi can send a team 10 forints if they visit www.borsodi.hu, type in the code found on the product and the name of their favourite team. Borsodi also uses summer music festivals to promote the brand, where ReGlasses are used. Heineken Hungária also sees potential in the flavoured beer segment: they will start the season with Soproni Lemon and Soproni Orange. Heineken Hungária will be the first to manufacture orange-flavoured beer in Hungary. Last year the company implemented such a successful promotion campaign that Soproni became market leader in the Horeca sector and during the time of the promotion was number one on the overall market for the first time. Dreher Breweries closed last year as the market leader in terms of volume sales. This year they see room for expansion in the Horeca sector and as regards promotion campaigns they will also use educative campaigns to make consumers more conscious about price-value ratio. This year Dreher will be a main sponsor of Sziget Festival once again. The company believes that in the next period a primary task of the sector will be strengthening the culture of beer consumption in Hungary.

Related news