As from this spring
Amstel is back on
The contracts were
signed with the
importer, Bulmer's, in
September last year.
It is not the first time that Amstel
has tried to gain a firm foothold in
the U.K. Seven years ago Amstel
was put on the British market via a
distribution agreement with a British
brewery, but without success.
Heineken is now more optimistic
about the chances for Amstel.
Certainly in view of the visible ten
dency for British consumers to chan
ge over from standard lager in the on
premise trade towards premium lager
in the off premise sector. Which
means: drinking less but better and
more at home.
With this tendency in mind,
Heineken Export has opted for a dif
ferent type of introduction than usual.
Normally speaking, the on premise
trade is the most natural and char
acteristic environment for launching
a beer brand. Such an on premise
introduction then creates demand in
the take home market.
However, the growing significan
ce of the take home beer market justi
fies the new approach, feels Regional
Export Director Rees Brandt. But he
does not rule out the possibility that
Amstel will also become available in
the on premise trade at a later date.
Market research has shown that
British consumers have not forgotten
Amstel and see the product as an
authentic beer with an Amsterdam
heritage. Besides, Amstel is not per
ceived as a 'trendy' beer, which Mr
Brandt sees as a positive sign, in view
of the recent decline in interest for
The British beer market is decli
ning and forecasts for the next five
years are not rosy either. Experts pre
dict that in the years ahead the total
market will decrease by 3% to over 57
million hectolitres. This decrease will
mainly affect the ales and bitters. The
market for standard lagers will
remain stable, predict the experts.
The only segment where growth is
expected is the premium segment.
Even disregarding the trendy beers,
the premium segment will grow
further over the next five years - from
8.7 million hectolitres in 1992 to 9.8
million in 1997. Within this segment
extra growth is forecast for the pack
aged beers, from 5.6 million in 1992
to 6.7 million hectolitres in 1997.
Rees Brandt is very pleased about
the cooperation with Bulmer's. "It is a
highly professional organisation with
a colossal distribution network. Of the
128,000 outlets in the U.R. (on and off
premise), they supply 38,000.
Bulmer's is also the world's biggest
As long ago as October last year
Heineken announced that Amstel
would be introduced in the spring of
1994. That may seem a little early, but
it has everything to do with the nego
tiations which the representatives of
Bulmer's conducted at the end of 1993
with the retail chains. "The account
managers at Bulmer's had to make
sure that Amstel Beer found its way
onto the supermarket shelves. If the
forthcoming introduction of Amstel is
already known within the trade, that
helps the account managers with
their negotiations", explains Mr
The early announcement has in
deed borne fruit, since the retail trade
showed a remarkably fast willingness
to place the product in the stores.
THE WORLD OF HEINEKEN