Operational Review (continued)
Report of the Executive Board
Following our acquisition of Scottish Newcastle, Heineken is
the world's biggest cider maker. Once again, the cider market
in the UK was strong compared with the overall beer market.
It is not only the UK though where cider can play a role in
our portfolio and add to our growth. We are clear on the
opportunity that exists for us to develop cider either at a
brand or category level in selected markets around our
business. We have begun to implement the plan behind this
thinking and in 2009 launched Strongbow in the Netherlands
and will introduce it in the USA and Canada.
To support this, we have established some fundamental
principles around the long-term growth of our premium
beers at both regional and domestic levels. In parallel, we
have maintained our speed and focus on reviewing the
portfolio strategies and offerings in our key markets. We
completed extensive portfolio reviews in Russia and the UK
and have already begun to implement the recommendations
of these in terms of positioning, stock-keeping unit
rationalisation, pricing and marketing investment levels.
In addition, our portfolio specialists collaborated with our
local consumer marketing experts in Belgium, Nigeria,
Poland and the Netherlands in order to address specific
brand or portfolio issues.
Each portfolio review or intervention is carefully logged
so as to provide learning and insight for future and similar
situations. We have now completed a review 'history' of the
last five years in order to support future, faster and more
locally driven reviews.
As part of the overall discussions relating to our portfolio,
we have defined an approach on the Amstel brand in order
to accelerate the continuing improvement in the brand
equity of Amstel in its key markets. The same team also made
significant steps in clarifying the role of the Amstel brand in
the Heineken premium portfolio and strategic direction of its
key sub-brands: Beer, Lager, Pulse and Light.
Annual Report 2009
- Heineken N.V.