Heineken Targets The Teetotaler
Published: February 13, 2007 (Issue # 1245)
MOSCOW — Heineken, the third-biggest beer company in Russia by sales, will start selling a non-alcoholic version of its Bochkaryov beer as part of a plan to boost its market share in Russia.
Heineken’s PIT company will brew the premium Russian brand at its factory in Kaliningrad city and will start selling it this month, Heineken Russia said Monday in an e-mailed statement. Heineken has 35 beer brands in Russia.
Heineken is expanding in Russia to gain market share from competitors such as Baltic Beverages Holding AB, the country’s biggest beer producer, and as consumers drink more beer. Russian beer output jumped by 10 percent to 100 million hectoliters in 2006, according to the Federal Statistics Service. One hectoliter equals 100 liters.
“Bochkaryov is a strong national brand. It showed a significant growth in 2006,’’ said Rolan Pirmez, president for Heineken Russia, in the statement. “Bochkaryov production in Kaliningrad specifically will help strengthen our presence on the Russian market.’’
Heineken bought PIT in 2005, boosting the number of its beer plants to 10 in Russia to help make up for lack of growth in western Europe. The Russian brewer, founded in 1903, sells brands including Goesser, Koenigsberg, Doctor Diesel, Three Bears and Ostmark.
Heineken aims to increase its 16 percent share of the Russian beer market to 20 percent as it taps rising consumer demand in the country, Pirmez said July 5 in St. Petersburg.