Standard beer varieties are driving the sector at the moment reports Euromonitor, although some imports are showing Eastern promise
12 November 2008
Imported standard lager is showing good growth, according to a report by Euromonitor this year. Lager has benefited from a slew of new developments, from multinational brand extensions, to low-alcohol and non alcoholic beer launches.
Euromonitor also reports that 2007 saw substantial growth in imported beers, thanks to immigration, growth in foreign travel and promotions around massive one-off sports events, such as the Rugby World Cup. Accordingly, Eastern Europe looks to be a real growth area, with many brewers in the region looking to emulate the success of Czech beers.
The Competitions Authority’s first Grocery Monitor report published this year confirms that Irish shoppers are extremely loyal to brands in the alcohol sector. While sales of own-label alcohol products are accounted for principally by multiples and discounters, penetration of these products is very low.
Heineken is gearing up for the festive season, with special offers on both the Heineken 24 and 8 x 50cl can packs, and on the 24 and 15 x 33cl bottle packs, as well as plans to launch a heavy weight advertising campaign in December.
As Ireland’s number one lager brand, Heineken is re-enforcing its position through ongoing investment in rugby (through the Heineken Cup), music, and the UEFA Champions League.
In music, Heineken Green Spheres continues to travel Ireland showcasing breaking acts, and the third Heineken Green Synergy music festival is coming to Dublin this November with an exciting mix of established and emerging international artists over five days. In addition, Heineken Music continues to proudly sponsor Random Access on Phantom FM.
Plans are currently underway for lots more activity in 2009. The Heineken Cup and UEFA Champions League will culminate in the first half of 2009 and music activity will feature throughout the year.
Part of the Heineken International beers portfolio, Sol, the original Mexican beer, is growing steadily nationwide. With 4.5% ABV, the beer is light in flavour and served with a slice of lime for a truly different, refreshing experience.
Supporting the brand this year, the Sol Revolution event featured top acts including David Kitt, marking the second year that Sol boosted the summer music scene. In 2007 the Sol Shine DJ Tour, featuring Belle and Sebastian amongst others, was massively successful. And Sol also supported a number of high profile music industry events, including the official launch of music channel Bubble Hits Ireland.
Sol is still brewed in Mexico using the traditional recipe. It is presented in a distinctive clear bottle and is available in all leading hotels, restaurants and independent off-licences nationwide.
Barry Fitzwilliam Maxxium
Corona Extra has grown dramatically in both the on and the off trade over the last few years and the trend already this year is for more of the same. Corona is currently backed by an intensive radio, TV and national press campaigns, with the theme “A refreshing slice of life”. Corona is also the title sponsor of the Cork Film Festival.
“Sales have risen threefold in the last three years and anecdotal evidence would suggest that Corona Extra is the biggest selling bottled beer in the on-trade at the moment”, says Barry Fitzwilliam Maxxium managing director, Michael Barry. A new 12 pack for the off trade has also helped the brand’s visibility in this sector.
Ireland has the highest per capita sales of Corona Extra outside of the USA and Mexico and is now a brand leader in the bottled beer market here, enjoying phenomenal growth nationwide. For further information contact (Cork) 021 4320900 or (Dublin) 01 6671755 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fourcorners Marketing, (www.fourcorners.ie) importers of niche spirits and beers has recently commenced promoting two of the finest speciality beers to hit our shores in years. Hofbrau Original, from Munich is one of the best tasting beers to come out of Germany. It is a Munich style lager beer with a wonderfully fresh hop aroma. Brewed to 5.1% ABV, Hofbrau is synonymous with the city of its origin. The brewery was founded in 1589 and The Hofbrau Haus beer hall in the city centre has become the most famous beer hall in Bavaria having been in continued operation for over 200 years. Hofbrau retails as 500ml bottle.
Brooklyn Lager, also imported by Fourcorners, is brewed by the Brooklyn Brewery in New York. The Brooklyn Brewery is one of America’s most renowned craft brewers. Brooklyn Lager is an intensely flavoured, bitter tasting lager beer which is an ideal accompaniment to many types of food such as steak and pizza. It is particularly good with spicy foods such as Indian or Thai meals. Brooklyn is brewed to 5.2% ABV and retails as a six pack. For more information call 01 4952008.
A new Christmas themed slab of 24 x 500ml Bavaria Crown Cans has been launched for the festive season. Also new for this Christmas are two new Bavaria Crown 4.3% bottles packs. A new six pack of 330ml bottles flashed at €6.49 and a new 10 pack flashed at €9.99 are both expected to perform well in the busy Christmas trade.
So far in 2008 Bavaria has had great success with the Bavaria brand in Ireland achieving considerable growth in tough market conditions in both on and off-trade. Bavaria is also attracting consumer attention through an on-trade campaign. To tie in with the Christmas message of responsible drinking and driving Bavaria is launching a re-branded designated driver campaign this year in conjunction with its newly re-branded non alcoholic bottle beer, Bavaria 0.0% (330ml). A driver can tell the bar man in participating bars that they’re the designated driver and receive their first 0.0% beer free. Gleesons are rolling this campaign out across the country.
Beamish & Crawford
Miller Genuine Draft is one of the leading brands in the Irish lager market, becoming the number one bottled beer in the total market in 2007, with latest AC Nielsen data reporting a 24% share. Miller Genuine Draft is now the number three brand in the off trade beer market, with a share of 7.9% (AC Nielsen, August 2008).
Available in 6 x 330ml bottle, 10 x 330ml bottle, 18pk x 330ml bottle, 20pk x 330ml bottle, 500ml can and 8 x 500ml can, Miller Genuine Draft unveiled a redesign of its packaging in September. Also in 2008, Miller launched “Easy Bar”, the first Irish-produced TV ad in the current Genuinely Easy campaign, as well as launching its first Ireland specific commercial Myspace profile (www.Myspace.com/millerireland) in June, to keep Miller fans updated on promotions and on-going sponsorships.
Beamish Stout, available in 500ml draught can, 4 x 500ml can pack, 500ml standard can and pint bottle, continues to be the number two stout in Ireland, with the off-trade can showing a growth of +1.3% for the month of August 2008. Beamish Stout is also the only Irish stout brewed exclusively in Ireland, guaranteeing a uniquely consistent taste of the utmost quality.
Supporting the brand in 2008, the Beamish ‘Real Men’ campaign included billboard advertising, in store signage, a press and POS campaign including posters, show-cards and drip-mats. Furthermore, Beamish Stout was highly visible on official soccer pitches across the country throughout the soccer season as the brand continued to sponsor Cork City Football Club.
Foster’s Lager has experienced exceptional growth over the past three years. The brand has trebled in size in draught format to become the fourth biggest draught lager in Ireland (AC Nielsen, August 2008).
This success is now translating into the off-trade with Foster’s 500ml can packs performing very strongly. The price flashed 6 for *8 pack grew by +23% on MAT basis to August according to AC Nielsen and the 8 pack grew by +77% over the same period. All promotional activity is supported by Foster’s television advertising campaign called ‘Shadow’ with its emphasis on super chilled cold beer. Foster’s is now available through all leading multiples and independent off-licence groups.
Carling, the number one selling lager across Britain and Ireland, continues its sponsorship of football, including the shirt sponsorship of the ‘Old Firm’ and the League Cup; ensuring the brand has strong associations with football that can be built on through promotional activity. The Carling multi-pack offer of 8 cans for €10.00 is available to selected stores throughout the calendar year.
This pack is experiencing growth of +54% (AC Nielsen, August 2008). Carling is also available in 500ml single can format.
Kronenbourg 1664 is the super premium lager (5% ABV) of Brasseries Kronenbourg, the number one brewer in France, and is the number three super premium lager in the European market. Brewed using the ‘caviar of hops’, Kronenbourg 1664 is available in 500ml can, 330ml x 6-pack basket, in addition Kronenbourg Premier Cru and Kronenbourg Blanc is available in selected off-licences.
Biggest selling Eastern European beer brand and growing in market share, Prazsky is a quality beer at a great price. Prazsky is a genuine premium Czech lager handcrafted in through Czech Republic, using only the finest Czech hops, malt and water. It is brewed to an award winning, traditional recipe passed down through generations since 1899.
Regarded as one of the best Dutch beers in the world. Dutch Gold is a 4.2% ABV pilsner lager beer with a clean, fresh and crisp Dutch beer flavour. A household name in Ireland, Dutch Gold is a brand leader in its sector and first to bring top quality beer at a realistic price to Ireland. Dutch Gold is enjoyed by millions since its launch in Ireland in 1995.
As Ireland’s number one stout, Guinness has once again proven its innovative, market leading credentials with the launch of a new advertising campaign for the Guinness can. With a significant investment, the campaign will support the off trade in the crucial selling period before Christmas. Comprising TV, outdoor, radio, PR, sampling, digital and consumer promotions, the ’Fridge Magnet’ campaign will ensur strong brand awareness during the season.
The TV ad represents one of the brand’s biggest campaigns to date; communicating the irresistible natur
e of Guinness in a can. Diageo expects the heavyweight campaign will encourage consumers to reappraise Guinness draught in a can, and is supported with special 3D effect outdoor ads in Dublin and Cork.
Promotions in selected off licences will offer consumers the chance to win an Electrolux fridge full of Guinness, while stores with Beacon units will receive Guinness fridge magnets to give away with purchases of Guinness Draught in a can.
InBev Ireland has redesigned the secondary packaging of Becks Alcohol Free beer, Ireland’s number one alcohol free lager, with a fresh new look just in time for Christmas. The new packaging on Becks Alcohol Free follows on from the launch of a brand new design for Becks alcohol beer earlier this year.
The new pack design of Becks Alcohol Free is being supported by a variety of consumer awareness activities in the run up to Christmas including a massive sampling program at this year’s Toys
4 Big Boys Show at the RDS which will target over 30,000 show visitors, plus coupons enabling shoppers to save €1 off a Becks Alcohol Free 6 x 275ml pack will also be circulated.
To coincide with the rebrand, a new poster campaign aimed at promoting responsible behaviour amongst Irish drivers by encouraging them to always ‘Drive Alcohol Free’ is planned for late November and early December.
Display Stands for Becks Alcohol Free (at RRP €5.99 for 6 x 275ml NRB) and other point of sale are available from the InBev Ireland Sales Team on 1800 666644.
Bulmers Mid-Strength Pint Bottle was launched in May 2008 across outlets in Cork, Limerick and Kerry. This provides the same taste and refreshment as Bulmers Original but with half alcohol content of 2.3% ABV; satisfying a growing consumer demand. Bulmers Mid-Strength received very positive feedback and has since been extended to outlets in Dublin, Laois, Kilkenny, Waterford, Kildare and Louth.
In a similar vein, Bulmers Light has enjoyed exceptional growth since it launched nearly five years ago. The Bulmers Light balloon was seen flying at major events throughout the year, while a private screening of the Sex and the City movie was hosted in Swords, Dublin, to celebrate its release. These and more were in addition to a host of other sponsorship and high profile activity, ranging from music and the Arts to sport, including Magners League rugby which was covered across TV, radio and online media.
Erdinger Alcohol-Free has had a huge impact on the market. While most alcohol-free beers are brewed to full strength and then go through a dialysis process to strip out the alcohol – often stripping out the flavour leaving a “card-board taste” – Erdinger by contrast has successfully developed a unique brewing process whereby the beer can be brewed to a very low level of alcohol without compromising the full wheat beer flavour.
Erdinger Non-Alcoholic has received plaudits in the press, from reviewers including Hugo Arnold, The Irish Times, who said: "The Erdinger (non alcoholic) Weissbier came in way ahead of the other top sellers I tasted in the category.”
As appointed agents in Ireland Noreast can provide a suite of glassware and high quality POS to raise awareness/interest and deliver sales.
Category solutions for beers this Christmas
Category management consultant, Jenny Maybury, from Category Solutions, advises on beer for the festive season:
The Christmas season is fast approaching, a key selling period for the beer category. Following a few fundamental steps will ensure you maximise the category potential during this busy season:
- Ensure a balance of all pack formats e.g. bottle, can and multipack. Each has a role to play in the category and consumers will buy according to their preference and occasion. Understanding who your customers are will help reflect the type of range you offer, different brands and pack formats appeal to different consumers for different occasions.
- Keeping the range focused on best sellers will ensure availability at all times, therefore satisfying consumers. Having niche products is obviously important to satisfy the experimental shopper, however, it is important to strike a balance and not disadvantage the volume sellers.
- Chilled drinks will provide a solution for immediate consumption for consumers and will therefore satisfy a potential impulse purchase.
- When stocking products, do not stack them too high; beer by its very natures is heavy and multipacks especially can be hard to reach and lift.
- Careful with glass bottles, again placing these products in a safe reachable position for customers will assist when they are trying to purchase.
- Dual siting can offer impulse purchase potential, especially during the seasonal period, where stock holding is important and consumers are looking to stock up.
- With changes imminent in the category it is important to focus on key deliverables, whilst keeping the consumer top of mind. Remember “Staying in is the new Going Out”.