4 AMSTEL BEER ON ILE DE LA RÉUNION Part of Heineken head office demolished Réunion hit by cyclone Last month brought launch of Since last month the growing army of beer fans on lie de la Reunion have been able to enjoy the taste of Amstel beer. Brasseries de Bourbon, one of the Ibecor busi nesses, decided to import and market Amstel along side its own 'Bière Bourbon' and '33' brands. "Bière Bourbon is by far our best-selling beer brand, but we feel you must offer the consumer sufficient choice", is how general manager G. Stolk explains the decision to import Amstel. The demolition crews have done their work. A part of the office buildings at the Heineken head office in Amsterdam has meanwhile been knocked down. The demolition work signalled the start of a major rebuilding plan which is expected to be completed in the autumn of1988. Stalls Soft drinks Brasseries de Bourbon uses various lorries to transport beer and soft drinks. The new office building will be linked to the older block of offices (built in 1969) and to the former Heineken family home A part of the head office as it was which is now also used as offices for members of the Executive Board. The new building was needed because of the inefficient layout of the old office premises which in fact consisted of a number of buildings which had been added to the Heineken concern over the years. In addition, the old office premises no longer met today's requirements. Large parts of the building were urgently in need of renovation. To solve these drawbacks at one fell swoop it was decided on a drastic rebuilding of the office; demolishing everything and building anew on the same spot. and as it looked last month after the demolition crews had done their work. - JL_ LK k 1 i J A big advertising campaign has accompanied the Amstel launch. Consumers have been able to sample Amstel beer in the shops, public transport buses meanwhile carry big poster displays, an advertis ing campaign has been started in magazines, and one newspaper will contain articles over a 20-week period telling everything about beer in general and Bourbon and Amstel in particular. lie de la Réunion is an overseas department of France, a country which does not allow alcoholic drinks to be advertised on radio and televi sion. So the same rules also apply on the island. "Despite that limitation we have a lot of points which favour the success of the launch campaign. As the island is fairly small, we can achieve one hundred per cent distri bution. So everyone will be able to get to know Amstel beer. Besides, the brewery has a good reputation on the island, and that helps of course", says Mr. Stolk. Brasseries de Bourbon produces some 105,000 hectolitres of beer a year and has its own two wholesale businesses to distribute the beer. Both these wholesalers visit 2,800 customers, all of which are grocery stores. "There is hardly any hotels and bar trade here. All our sales out lets are retail stores, varying from enormous supermarkets to small, fairly simple shops which often set up a refreshment stall for people who want to drink something on the spot. But we estimate that some two- thirds of the population consume their drinks at home". One business that forms part of Brasseries de Bourbon is the Soreg soft drinks plant which produces Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Schweppes and a number of its own brands. According to Mr. Stolk, the produc tion volume of soft drinks is growing "tremendously fast". Annual produc tion at the moment is 89,000 hecto litres of soft drinks. The high soft drinks consumption is not surprising in that climate. In the summer the mercury climbs to 35 degrees Celsius and the humidity is more than 80%. And even in "winter" the temperatures are still as high as 25 degrees Celsius on this tropical island. But even on lie de la Réunion the weather can sometimes turn nasty, as you can read in the cyclone article. The offices of Brasseries de Bourbon. For four days the forces of nature swept across lie de la Réunion, reaching a peak of violence on, of all days, Friday the 13th. A cyclone (a violent tropical storm) roared across the 600-square-kilometre island which lies in the Indian Ocean to the east of the African island of Madagascar. In the space of one single day the rain that poured down on He de la Réunion was equal to an entire year's rain fall in a country like Holland which, some feel, has more than its fair share of wet weather. For general manager G. Stolk of Brasseries de Bourbon it was his first encounter with a cyclone. And it certainly shook him. 'The weather turns really nasty during a cyclone. In Réunion's mountains the tremendous rainfall creates raging torrents in no time and the hurricane- force winds rip trees out of the ground. So a cyclone can be an extremely frightening experience". The brewery, in which Heineken has had a majority stake for more than a year now, was not too badly affected by the cyclone. "We have a first-rate early warning system on the island. Phase 1 recommends people to build up a stock of food at home. In phase 2 they are advised to stay indoors and when phase 3 starts you really do have to stay inside, as the weather turns very wild. Luckily, we usually get the first warning 48 hours before a cyclone reaches the island". "So we were able to take precau tions in good time, like fastening down all sorts of things, lashing lorries together, and so on. But it's reassuring that the buildings here have been designed with storms like this in mind. The outer walls are built to withstand this battering by the elements", says Mr. Stolk, who deeply hopes that it will be a long time before the next cyclone hits the island.

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Heineken International Magazine | 1987 | | pagina 4