Heineken (Netherlands)


Selected Heineken advertising

Family-controlled Heineken is the world's third largest brewer and owns the best-selling premium beer brand. It manufactures its own products through a huge and wide-ranging network of 100 breweries in more than 50 countries, and licenses the operation to other companies where it doesn't have its own plant. The company also owns a wide variety of subsidiary beer brands including Amstel and Murphy's Irish Stout worldwide, Tiger in Asia, Cruzcampo and Moretti in Europe, among many others. After a slow start, Heineken has entered wholeheartedly into the consolidation of the global beer industry since 2007. That year, it launched a joint bid to break up the UK's Scottish & Newcastle in partnership with Carlsberg. Completion of that deal the following year established Heineken as the leading brewer in the UK. In 2010, it expanded its footprint in Latin America with the acquisition of Mexico's second largest brewer FEMSA, adding Sol, Tecate and Dos Equis to its worldwide portfolio. Two years later it agreed to take full control of Singaporean subsidiary Asia Pacific Breweries.

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Oct 2014: Heineken has seized sponsorship of US Major League Soccer, which was recently surrendered by longtime patron Budweiser. According to reports, Heineken agreed to pay $50m for a five-year contract - around three times what Bud was paying - to match its longstanding support of football in Europe and other global markets. It is the brewer's first national sports marketing platform in the US.

Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Sep 2014: There's a growing buzz over further consolidation within the global brewing industry. This week, the family owners who still control #3 brewer Heineken publicly rebuffed a tentative approach from #2 SABMiller. That offer was itself a defensive reaction to the growing speculation that SABMiller could itself become the target of a mammoth bid from main rival AB InBev. The WSJ reported rumours that AB InBev has been talking to banks about making a $122bn offer for its smaller competitor. Despite their respective positions as the global #1 and #2 in the industry, they compete directly in comparatively few markets. Any antitrust issues could feasibly be solved by the sale of SABMiller's stakes in US-based MillerCoors and China's Snow. An alternative combination of SABMiller and Heineken would have overtaken InBev to become the new global leader in beer.

Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Aug 2014: European brewers with heavy exposure to the Russian market warned investors about the negative effects of the economic standoff between President Putin and the West over Ukraine. Carlsberg and Heineken reported another sharp fall in sales and profits from what was once a very profitable market. The first impact came from Putin's late 2012 move to curb public drunkenness by raising taxes on alcohol, restricting advertising and banning sales from street kiosks. That resulted in a steep decline in performance in 2013, especially for Carlsberg, the country's #1 brewer, which generates around a third of its profits there. Now, European economic sanctions against Russia, and the government's own boycott of selected Western goods has curbed consumer expenditure and prompted a plunge in the value of the rouble. Heineken reported a 10% slide in total Russian beer volumes in the first six months of the year; Carlsberg lowered expectations for full-year profits and said it would consider closing some of its ten Russian breweries.

Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd May 2014: Ads of the Week "Uncage". Droga5 Sydney has launched a bold pan-Asia campaign for Heineken's celebrated Tiger Beer, with a set of stunning films that spotlight the creative triumphs of three Singaporeans who defied convention to pursue their particular creative dreams. It's a well-used approach, but rarely executed with such style and elegance.

Adbrands Weekly Update 15th May 2014: Ads of the Week "The City". This week marks Wieden & Kennedy's 10th appearance this year among Ads of the Week, out of 19 Weekly Updates, and frankly we could easily have picked at least another 10 spots to feature since January. That's not favouritism (or bribery!) but just the agency's extraordinary creativity, always expressed at its best in film, and which seems to be positively overflowing this year, especially on behalf of cornerstone clients Nike and Heineken. It will be interesting to see how fully that excellence is reflected in next month's Cannes Lions festival. We certainly hope so. This latest Heineken spot from Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam is typical: inventive, sexy, funny, thrilling, and ticking all the technical boxes for brilliance in direction, photography, design, editing, casting and music. (Especially music. This is like hearing Elvis's Bossa Nova Baby for the first time). Sheer class throughout.

Which agencies handle advertising for Heineken? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments

Who are the competitors of Heineken? See Alcoholic Beverages Sector for other companies

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Heineken website

Brands

Amstel Cruzcampo
Fischer Tiger Beer
Murphy's Heineken

Paulaner

Export Gold
DB Breweries Group Asia Pacific Breweries
Quilmes Kaiser
Botchkarov Zywiec
Brau Union Goesser
Brand Panach
Affligem Cruzcampo
Moretti Ichnusa
Fuerstenburg Hoepfner
Stepan Razin Vrumona
Warka Zipfer

Heineken UK


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Background

Free for all users | see full profile for current activities: Produced from a superior form of specially developed yeast (which the company still produces exclusively in Holland and ships to its global breweries and partners), Heineken was first introduced in 1863. That year Gerard Heineken purchased "the Haystack", a brewery in Amsterdam that was already around 300 years old, and began brewing his own beers. By 1876, he was exporting to France and by 1894, to the US. The company was the first brewery to resume exports of beer to the United States following the repeal of Prohibition, and quickly established itself as the country's #1 imported beer. Meanwhile, Heineken was expanding its international operations elsewhere, forming a joint venture in Singapore in 1931, now called Asia Pacific Breweries. Other acquisitions followed in Asia, South America and Africa.

By 1955, half of the beer produced in Holland was manufactured for export, and the company continued to acquire breweries in other countries. In 1968 Heineken bought the Amstel Brewery in Holland and its own chain of international breweries. The company's growth accelerated even faster after 1971, when the business passed to Alfred "Freddy" Heineken. During the 1940s, he was sent by his father to the US to learn American marketing techniques. He put these into practice in the 1970s, making Heineken into a household name with a series of memorable marketing campaigns, not least the "Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach" TV ads (originally created by what was then Lowe Howard-Spink in London), which ran in the UK for more than 30 years). In addition, in 1983, the brewery expanded its range to become a producer of stout through the acquisition of James J Murphy in Cork, Ireland, makers of Murphy's.

In 1991, the company cemented its position in the US, buying out long-established family-run importers Van Munching & Co. It also began to expand into Eastern Europe with the purchase of Hungary's Komaromi Sorgyar brewery. The 1990s saw a string of further acquisitions including Italian brewery Birra Moretti, France's Fischer Group, Slovakia's Zlaty Bazant and Poland's Zaklady Piwowarskie. In 1998, the group merged four Polish breweries to form Zwyiec Group. In 1999 Heineken agreed to acquire Diageo's majority stake in leading Spanish brewer Cruzcampo, merging that business with its existing El Aguila brand. However regulators forced the group to sell off all but its three leading beer brands, Heineken, El Aguila and Cruzcampo.

The group was also rumoured to be among the bidders for UK beer companies Bass and Whitbread. However Belgian arch-rival Interbrew acquired both. (Interbrew was later forced to relinquish Bass). The deal created a problem for Heineken, in that it was left without a licensing arrangement in the UK, one of its key markets. Whitbread had held the UK license for Heineken since 1968. Following the sale of its beer business to Interbrew, Whitbread leased back from the Belgian company one of the breweries included in the sale and continued to produce Heineken under license until the end of 2002 in order to satisfy their contractual obligations. 

Meanwhile Heineken continued to add to its portfolio elsewhere in the world, acquiring Gemer and Martiner breweries in Slovakia and Affligem in Belgium. Early in 2001, the group became majority shareholder in Nigerian Breweries, the #2 beermaker in Africa. It also took its first steps into Germany, acquiring a 49.9% stake in BrauHolding International, a subsidiary of German conglomerate Schorghuber. 

The group extended its reach in Brazil in early 2002, increasing its stake in local brewer Kaiser, the Brazilian licensee for Heineken, to 20%. At the same time the Dutch company gave its support to the acquisition of the rest of Kaiser by Canadian brewer Molson. The group also acquired Russian brewer Bravo International, whose brands include Ohota, Botchkarov and the local license for Lowenbrau; as well as Egypt's only brewery, Al Ahram Beverages. Other purchase included a 45% stake in Karlsberg International Brand, which ranks about 12th among German brewers, in partnership with its German partner, BrauHolding; and also a 50% stake in the holding company controlling CCU.


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