Tuned to premium

By: Budai Klára Date: 2024. 04. 05. 10:40

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2024/4

The combined sales revenue of the five biggest brewers in Hungary – Borsodi Brewery Kft., Carlsberg Hungary Kft., Dreher Breweries Zrt., Heineken Hungária Zrt. and Pécsi Brewrey Zrt. – dropped from 6 million hectolitres in 2022 to 5.4 million hectolitres in 2023, with a significant decline in domestic beer consumption and imports.

Sándor Kántor
executive director
Association of Hungarian Brewers

“The technological and product development programmes undertaken by our member companies over many years, with billions of euros invested, have resulted in an increase in the share of sales of domestically produced beers, reaching 88% in 2023 by the top five Hungarian brewing companies. The industry isn’t optimistic about 2024, as the drop in demand has continued to result in sales well below pre-pandemic levels”,

says Dr Sándor Kántor, executive director of the Association of Hungarian Brewers.



The share of super-premium and premium segments in domestic sales continued to grow

Trends and expectations

György Spiegel 
marketing director
Borsodi Brewery

In domestic sales the share of the super-premium and premium segment kept growing, reaching 31% in 2023 with 1.661 million hectolitres. The medium category held on to its 55% share, with sales at 2.957 million hectolitres. Canned beer sales – this is the most popular product format – fell to 3.856 million hectolitres, 70% of total domestic sales. The growing popularity of non-alcoholic alternatives is a global phenomenon.

“Beer producers are facing several challenges, from ever-changing consumer preferences, energy prices and inflation to a changing and challenging regulatory environment”,

points out György Spiegel, marketing director of Borsodi Brewery Kft.

Ibolya Szabó
head of corporate affairs
Dreher Breweries

“As in previous years, Hungarian consumers’ interest is focused on premium products, which is partly due to the fact that this is the segment where most of the innovation is taking place”,

says Ibolya Szabó, head of corporate affairs at Dreher Breweries.


Dr. Zoltán Szemerey
managing director
Pécs Brewery

Dr Zoltán Szemerey, managing director of Pécs Brewery adds: his company sees growing interest in regionally made products.


Expanding portfolio

In order to keep developing the Bőcs brewery and its logistics system, last year Borsodi Brewery Kft. launched the biggest multiyear investment programme in the brewery’s 50-year history, in the value of approximately EUR 22m. The beer company’s experience is that domestic consumers continue to show growing demand for special, high-quality products. In line with consumption trends, the company has expanded its non-alcoholic range, introducing Stella Artois 0.0, which is low in calories, and also making Starporamen 0.0 available temporarily. This year one of the world’s best-known beer brands, Coors Pale Ale, will become available in the domestic market: at 4.3% ABV, Coors is an easy-drinking beer with light fruity and malty notes, and little bitterness and aftertaste.

The sector is not optimistic about 2024

Growing exports

In October 2023 Dreher announced a HUF 100bn development series with Asahi Group Holdings and Asahi Europe & International, the largest-ever investment programme in the Hungarian beer industry, which will secure the long-term future of Dreher Breweries. The company has also continued to innovate, and last spring it launched a light and trendy Mediterranean-style lager under the name Peroni Nastro Azzurro Stile Capri. Pécs Brewery has two important priorities: to further develop export activities and at the same time to strengthen the regional consumer base. They believe it is a realistic objective to make their speciality products available throughout the country, such as the BIO Gluten Free Premium Beer. //

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