Bralirwa 'moving like express train' Birra Dreher closes Popoli Brewery in Rwanda climbs uphill fast HEINEKEN INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE NO. 35 PAGE 2 Now that it looks as if the African state of Rwanda has moved back into calmer times, this is having a positive effect on Heineken's operating company Bralirwa: growth over the past six months is cause for great optimism. At the time of the disturbances Bralirwa's future looked much less rosy, with sales lagging far behind the level of previous years. Now that calm has returned to Rwanda and since excise duties on beer have also been reduced, Bralirwa is reaping the benefits. The demand for beer has picked up so strongly that at the moment there is even a (modest) capacity shortfall. But Bralirwa is looking beyond the short term and is drawing up plans to build an even stronger basic position in the Rwandan market: the introduction of Amstel and Heine- ken, plus further expansion of its pre sent brands Primus and Miitzig. longer than that for Primus. And Miitzig is a beer which is doing well in Rwanda, despite commanding a 20% higher price than Primus. Particularly the 72 cl bottle is popu lar with consumers who like to share a bottle with friends. Reputation Primus has built up a good reputa tion in Rwanda over the years. But at the same time consumer tastes have changed. Primus is now regarded as a light beer. Sales are still good, but The Bralirwa brewery will shortly get two new storage tanks, making the small capacity shortfall a thing of the past. there are also ideas to extend the Primus brand by adding a new pils- ener beer which will be marketed in a bottle with a label. The logo of the existing Primus beer is burnt into the glass bottle. New brands The Rwandan beer market cur rently consists of three segments: mainstream (Primus), premium (Miitzig) and speciality (Guinness). As from 1st January two brands will be joining them: Heineken and Amstel. Heineken beer is brewed in Holland and is highly appreciated as an imported beer. Slightly lower in price, but still super-premium, is Amstel which is brewed in the neigh bouring state of Burundi. In return for this, Bralirwa will be brewing Miitzig for Burundi. Introducing a new brand of beer is not as easy in Rwanda as in other countries. There is no television, so it's not possible to communicate via TV spots. With the aid of posters, calendars and glasses, Bralirwa is seeking to bring Heineken and Amstel to the consumer's attention. Bralirwa will also be pioneering bill board advertising, so far unknown in Rwanda. Bralirwa expects a great deal of success from this form of advertising. Bralirwa, headed for many years by general manager Max Boreel, has gone through tough times. But the well motivated personnel have proved that though the uphill climb was steep, it was not impossible. The bottling department in 1963.... and today Coffee The Bralirwa brewery in Rwan da's capital of Kigali has an output of 90,000 hectolitres a month. In the high season (July and August) that's not enough to meet the big demand. Over the past summer the brewery has been producing as much as 95,000 hectolitres a month. The high season in Rwanda has little to do with the climate. A much bigger contribution to the strongly increased demand is made by the fact that the coffee harvest is brought in during these months - so that people then have more to spend. The minor capacity problems which Bralirwa was facing will shortly be a thing of the past after the installation of two new storage tanks. These new tanks will mainly be used in the brewing of Miitzig, since the storage process for Miitzig lasts General manager Max Boreel (left), together with per sonnel manager Frangois Habiya- kareduring a tasting test. Birra Dreher recently discontinued production at its brewery in Popoli. The closure of this brewery forms part of a restructuring of pro duction facilities in Italy. Faced by a static beer market, Birra Dreher decided on a further streamlining of its production so as to boost its competitive strenght in the Italian market. The restructuring programme started three years ago. The Popoli brewery has been part of the Dreher group since 1980. Birra Dreher's production now takes place in the Pedavena and Aosta units which brew beer for Northern Italy. Production for the south of the country is handled by the breweries in Massafra and Messina. Birra Dreher also has a brewery in Cagliari (on the island of Sardinia).

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Heineken International Magazine | 1991 | | pagina 2