Bud­weiser beer hits mar­ket in Ukraine

Kyiv Post - - Business - BY MARK RACHKEVYCH [email protected] Kyiv Post staff writer Mark Rachkevych can be reached at [email protected]

Amer­ica’s self-pro­claimed “King of Beers” has hit Ukrainian shelves. As of last month, Bud­weiser made Ukraine the 87th coun­try where its suds are sold.

And the brand’s owner, An­heuserBusc­h Inbev, an­nounced that Ukraine is one of its eight pri­or­ity mar­kets along with Brazil and Rus­sia.

Com­pany of­fi­cials said they by the end of the year their aim is for Bud­weiser to oc­cupy 1 per­cent of the na­tion’s beer mar­ket and 4 per­cent in the pre­mium and su­per-pre­mium seg­ment.

The beer is brewed in SUN Inbev Ukraine’s Kharkiv brew­ery, one of three plants the AB Inbev sub­sidiary owns in Ukraine.

Bud­weiser’s en­try is what mar­ket­ing news agency Adage re­cently called AB Inbev’s at­tempt at turn­ing the clas­sic Amer­i­can brew “into a global pow­er­house on the scale of Co­caCola.”

While Coca-cola has an es­ti­mated 25 per­cent global mar­ket share and is sold in 206 coun­tries, the largest beer brand by mar­ket share is Snow with 5 per­cent, sold ex­clu­sively in China. Ac­cord­ing to Adage, this is be­cause beer is one of the prod­ucts where big in­ter­na­tional brands have strug­gled to gain a foothold.

AB Inbev uses the same mar­ket­ing strat­egy for Bud­weiser ev­ery­where, un­like com­peti­tor Sabmiller, which fo­cuses on re­gional brands with ad­ver­tis­ing cater­ing to lo­cal cul­tures.

So far the strat­egy is work­ing, with global vol­ume ris­ing by 3.1 per­cent in 2011 pre­ceded by a 1.7 per­cent bump in 2010.

How­ever, in Amer­ica, Coors Light over­took Bud­weiser for the num­ber one spot, “an em­bar­rass­ing hit for the so-called King of Beers,” said Adage.

Yet it’s still the world’s 15th most valu­able brand, ac­cord­ing to Brand­fi­nance Global 500.

In Ukraine, sin­gle, half-liter sized bot­tles and cans, as well as four, six and 20 packs of the beer are of­fered.

Sun Inbev is the lead­ing Ukrainian beer com­pany that sells eight beer brands with an ap­prox­i­mate 36 per- cent mar­ket share and op­er­ates four beer cafes.

It sells lo­cal brands Ch­erni­hivske, Ro­han, Yan­tar and Lowen­brau as well as multi-coun­try brands Leffe and Hoe­gaar­den, and global brands Stella Ar­tois and Beck’s.

The Ch­erni­hivske la­bel was the num­ber beer brand in 2011, ac­cord­ing to Acnielsen Ukraine.

Ukrainian beer con­sump­tion re­mained al­most flat in 2011 at an es­ti­mated 28.2 mil­lion hec­to­liters, do­mes­tic out­put de­clined 2 per­cent year-on-year, while im­ports grew 46 per­cent over same pe­riod, said Dragon Cap­i­tal’s Tat­jana Telezko.

The an­a­lyst said beer pro­duc­tion in the first quar­ter of this year re­mained al­most flat for same pe­riod last year at 5.24 mil­lion hec­to­liters.

Bud­weiser ad­ver­tis­ing near Dream­town shop­ping mall in Kyiv. Ac­cord­ing to Brand­fi­nance Global 500, Bud­weiser is the world's 15th most valu­able brand. (Kostyan­tyn Ch­er­nichkin)

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