30 Soft drinks e show steady More than 85of Heineken's activities re late to beer. No vvon 1 er\ then, that many people know Heineken only as a brewery. But Heineken does much more. For in stance, in the area of soft drinks, with fac tories in various countries, including the Netherlands, Zaïre, Indonesia, Rwanda and New Caledonia- Efforts are also de voted to the export of soft drinks, produced at V' i-ii in on; i, a subsidiary of Heineken-Hol- land. And with growing success. Vrumona's soft drinks are meanwhile exported to some ninety countries all over the globe. The export of soft drinks all started cautiously and on a very small scale in 1981 As the number of hectolitres destined for foreign markets showed rapid growth, Heineken's export organisation was asked to provide some of its specialist know-how. Ibgether with several Vru- mona staff a plan was drawn up to structure the company's export drive. 'Exports of soft drinks boomed. Within a couple of years we were ex porting an annual volume of 300,000 hectolitres. But a sudden upswing like that often knocks things out of balance and that was the problem we faced as well. More than half of our soft drinks sales (mainly Pepsi Cola) were shipped to the Middle East. We benefited from a shortage of bottling capacity in that region. But, once those problems in the Middle East had been solved and after our most important customer, Saudi Arabia, closed its borders to imports of bottled soft drinks, we found that we had lost more than half our sales vol ume', explains Mr. S. Hiemstra, Heine ken's soft drinks export manager. Combination The 100,000 hectolitres of soft drink exports which then remained were characterised by a wide diversity of products and packs, which brought extra production costs. An organisa tional consultancy bureau looked into the problem. One of the suggestions it made was to scrap half of all the pack varieties from the range. Besides this, a strategic rethink had already been started at Vrumona to study which world markets Vrumona could supply with success. It was de cided to make greater use than previ ously of the Heineken export organisa tion so as to identify new customers in new markets. 'Soft drinks and beer are not so far apart as you might imagine. In many countries a brewery and a lemonade plant form a first-rate combi nation', says Mr. Hiemstra, whose task is to keep Heineken's export managers informed about soft drinks and encour age them to include soft drinks in their sales package. His responsibilities also cover regular exports to countries in Western Europe and conducting worldwide negotiations on contract packing. The soft drinks export depart ment forms the link between the Heine ken export organisation and Vrumona and concentrates on mapping out the policy for the future years. Future That future is viewed with confi dence by Heineken. At the present time 3 million hectolitres of soft drinks are exported annually from Holland. The bulk goes to Holland's neighbouring countries. For the time being Vrumona has opted to operate only on a modest scale on these highly competitive mar kets. But, as regards exports to other countries throughout the world, Vru- mona's market share is almost fifty per cent, making it a force to be reckoned with amongst soft drinks exporters. One particularly important form of exporting is the contract packing of soft drinks. Vrumona now handles the can ning of soft drinks for several Caribbean THE WORLD OF HEINEKEN

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World of Heineken | 1989 | | pagina 30