5 Beer in Spain I Computers Umbrella I {Idlerbran {Idlerbrau Strong advertising support New brand Heineken Emphasis on quality People can see than Heineken is doing its utmost to make El Aguila a profitable brewery again as quickly as possible.That major expenditure programme is proof of this." Another element in the El Aguila organisation that needed to be tackled as quickly as possible was the financial and accounting system. A. Blüm, financial director, tells how things were in the past. And how the situation is now. "El Aguila was a typical example of an antiquated Spanish company; there were few foreign influences. We immediately saw that working procedures were outdated and so we quickly introduced automation. After nine months of study we bought five IBM computers. Now we can not only keep the whole financial accounting system up to date, but we can also check on budgets and make cost analyses." El Aguila has 60 depots spread throughout the country to supply part of the retail trade. Since the beginning of last year all those depots have been equipped with a personal computer which can be used to prepare invoices, including VAT. The separate specification of VATwas important because Spain, being the latest EC member, decided to introduceVATon 1st January 1986. That decision by the Spanish government did not become definitive until the beginning of December 1985. "Within scarcely one month's time we set up the new invoicing system. All the people who had to work with the personal computer were brought to Madrid for a day for instructions on its use", explains Mr. Blüm.This example also clearly shows that the Spanish employees are flexible, are especially quick at adapting, and show great dedication. "They are the basis for El Aguila's success", says Mr. Blüm. As far as El Aguila's local brands are PAIN kettles have also been installed. personnel. General manager R. Strobos: "We decided that when we closed down the breweries there would be no compulsory dismissals. The impact on the personnel has been kept to a minimum. Some employees were able to take early retirement, others were transferred to another job within the business and a number of new jobs were also created within the organisation. On the whole the employees take a favourable view of Heineken as their new employer. There is a sense of gratitude, as they no longer have any uncertainty about the future. As Heineken we have created a climate of confidence, both within the business and outside. concerned, there have been a great many changes over the past eighteen months. Formerly, the Aguila brand served as a sort of umbrella for six different types of bottled beer. The standard product was Aguila Dorada; with its 4.5% alcohol, this falls in the light beer category. The other beers marketed were Imperial, Reserva Ligera, Reserva, Sin (alcohol-free beer) and Niger (brown ale)All these types of beers were marketed under the name Aguila, a situation that consumers found fairly confusing. This confusion was aggravated when El Aguila decided in the early 1980s to couple the popular Imperial type with the less-loved Dorada, in the hope of Adfarfoty jldteTbmii ftttter brav, In Spain beer consumption amounts to 61 litres per head of the population per year.That is quite high. Particularly over the past ten years beer has gained a strong position in the drinks market. What does the structure of the beer market look like in Spain?The table below gives a breakdown based on types of beer and the brands marketed by El Aguila in each segment Type of beer Alcohol El Aguila brand Corriente (lager) 4.5 Aguila Especial 5.5 Adlerbrau Extra 7.0 Reserva Brown ale 7.0 Niger Alcohol-free beer - Sin Import 5.0 Heineken The water purification plant at the Algete brewery is being expanded. The closure of three breweries meant a higher brewing capacity in Algete, resulting in more waste water. boosting Dorada's popularity again. In practice the opposite occurred: "The consumer assumed that Imperial had been given the same quality as Dorada", says Mr. Bot. Heineken knew from experience that you should never use one brand name (Aguila) for several types of product in one and the same segment. It was decided to replace the Dorada and Imperial labels by one brand, simply called Aguila and containing 4.5% alcohol. Aguila was launched in April last year and has been heavily advertised by Spanish standards. Particularly the TV commercials caused amazement, notably amongst competitors. Previously, in fact, it had been very unusual for beer to be advertised on television. Besides the TVspots, El Aguila launched another first: the glasses campaign. Customers who bought a crate of Aguila received a free drinking glass.The campaign proved highly successful. With the aid of its new Aguila brand the Spanish brewery is seeking to improve the less favourable reputation it had in the area of bottled beer. "When you talk to people about draught beer, you find that Aguila is still extremely popular. Some fifty per cent of our production is for the draught market. Over the years Aguila's bottled beer had got a bad reputation. With this new brand we aim to eliminate that adverse image", says Mr. Bot. In the sector for "normal" beer (4.5%), known in Spanish as "Corriente", El Aguila is therefore once again becoming a force to be reckoned with. This situation was different in the "Especial" sector. Beers in the "Especial" class have an alcohol percentage of 5.5. Research had shown that the big market for Corriente beer was in the south. Consumers in the north of Spain preferred the slightly heavier and more bitter Especial. In this segment, too, El Aguila had to become active again, particularly as Imperial was no longer considered by the consumer to be an "Especial" beer. El Aguila decided to launch a completely new brand: Adlerbrau. At the end of October last year Adlerbrau was presented to the wholesale trade and first indications show that it will be a great success. Adlerbrau has a taste that the Spaniards like. An extensive advertising campaign, which is going very well, has also been started for Adlerbrau. Heineken beer has long been represented on the Spanish beer market. The lager is imported from Holland and is classed in Spain's "Extra" beer category. Until the beginning of last year Heineken was distributed by two different firms. One handled the distribution of kegs, whilst the other made sure that the bottles and cans found their way all over the country. With effect from 1st January 1986 El Aguila itself has taken charge of the distribution of Heineken. It was a move that bore fruit: "Last year we managed to book a threefold increase in Heineken sales", says Mr. Bot. "El Aguila used to try to complete with low prices and a widespread distribution network. Since April last year we have reversed this approach. Our beers have become less price- sensitive a great many of the old trade discount arrangements have been phased out and we are trying to win the consumer's favour by placing emphasis on the quality of the beer and on the advertising. We have set about things on a much more consumer-orientated basis", says Mr. Bot, who notes with satisfaction that El Aguila is now present on the market under three different brands (Aguila, Adlerbrau and Heineken) and in three different price classes. In the development of Aguila and Adlerbrau, the El Aguila management received much support from Heineken's Amsterdam head office and from H.T.B. (Heineken Technical Services) in Zoeterwoude. "Without their help we would never have been able to supply this quality" assures Bot.

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Heineken International Magazine | 1987 | | pagina 5