turning for in Portugal Tide now Heineken Amstel introduction completes beer range Eighteen months ago Hans Erik Tuyt moved to Portugal as Area Export Manager. What he found there was a complicated market with hardly any room for import beers. Hut the tide has turned; the figures show a positive trend. Portugal basically consists of three different markets. The beer market in the south is dominated by the Algarve; a popular destination in both winter and sum mer for holidaymakers from Northern Europe who are attracted by the mild winter climate and the warm sum mers. Beer sales in this region are high, thanks in part to the tourist trade. Just as in many other warm regions, Heineken in the Algarve does not automatically direct its efforts at the tourists. As Heineken sees it, extra sales to tourists are a welcome bonus but not the main objective. The 300,000 local consumers are the prime target for Hans Erik Tuyt. Lisbon and its surrounding area is home to twenty per cent of the total population, but this same region accounts for forty per cent of Portugal's total beer sales. "In 1998 the Expo will be coming to Lisbon. The banks of the River Tagus, which flows through Lisbon, will be totally transformed into a long ribbon of shops and catering establishments specially built for that Expo '98. Those are the outlets that we will be foc using strongly on, by encouraging bar owners to build a terrace. In Portugal there are as yet only few outdoor ter races. That's because the weather conditions are not really suitable. There is always quite a lot of wind and temperatures in summer are very high. But Heineken terrace wind breaks and Heineken parasols will make it possible to build terraces and those in turn give us extra brand visi bility." Special position The third region is Northern Portugal, or the area around Oporto. Mr Tuyt describes it as 'a difficult market'. "This is the region of port and vinho verde wines. It has no real beer culture, so it's not easy for a pre mium brand like Heineken." In fact, there are also two further markets which form part of Portugal: the Azores and Madeira. Heineken enjoys a special position on these islands. Despite the small size of the market, Heineken has a very high share on the Azores. "Thanks to the American military personnel and our agent Emater we have 90% distribu tion on Terceira." Hans Erik Tuyt is also satisfied about the positive chan ge on the island of Madeira. "Our dis tributor has achieved good positio ning for Heineken and Buckler and, since the introduction of Amstel in September, we can offer a full range there as well." Modest The local beer market (six million hectolitres per year) is dominated by two breweries which together hold a 98% market share. By comparison, therefore, the import segment is very modest. One of the reasons why Heineken has nevertheless succeeded in gaining a solid foothold is the 'beer team' which was set up in coopera tion with importer Refrigor. Distribution in Portugal is handled by 'advance salesmen'. In total they make up to eighty visits a day and note down orders for delivery the following day. The Sumolis soft drinks factory, which handles distribution of Heineken products, has ten represen tatives on its payroll. These representatives concentrate solely on the Heineken range: Heineken Beer, Buckler, Murphy's Irish Stout and - since September this year - Amstel. Each representative has his own region, calls on outlets which show potential as successful sellers of Heineken and sometimes accompanies Sumolis salesmen during their visits to customers. Heineken Beer (just like Amstel) is available in bottles, in cans and on draught. Fernando Carreiras, product manager Heineken, clearly emphasi ses how important the bottle is for sales and promotional activities, as this pack form helps boost the premi um image of Heineken. Because of its relative novelty in Portugal, the can currently has a better image than the bottle. Even in the more up-market The Heineken sales team. Standing third from left, Hans Eric Tuyt. THE WORLD OF HEINEKEN

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World of Heineken | 1994 | | pagina 52