Family-controlled Heineken became the world's second largest brewer during 2016 and owns the best-selling premium beer brand. It manufactures its own products through a huge and wide-ranging network of 140 breweries in more than 70 countries. In 2019, Heineken and its subsidiaries sold 241m hectolitres of beer worldwide, up over 3% on an organic basis; however, the pandemic prompted a decline in 2020 to just under 222m hl. 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. Subsequent purchases include Singaporean brewer Asia Pacific Breweries, owner of Tiger Beer; and Schincariol in Brazil. As a result, the group now has a substantial portfolio of around 300 separate beers, soft drinks and their variants. The flagship brand is of course Heineken itself, sold in around 190 countries - more than any other beer - and also available in several variants including non-alcoholic Heineken 0.0 (globally), Heineken Premium Light (mainly in the US), mid-strength Heineken Silver (in Asia) and others. In virtually every market except its home country of the Netherlands, Heineken is priced as a premium lager. Total volumes were just under 42m hectolitres in 2020. Heineken's #2 international brand is Amstel, available in 100 countries worldwide, and also supporting multiple variants. These are accompanied by a vast collection of regional or local products including Tiger Beer, Desperados, Affligem, Strongbow cider, Red Stripe, Moretti, Sagres and Kingfisher. It also has a large collection of regional soft drinks businesses including Vrumona in the Netherlands. For 2020, net revenues slipped by almost 18% to €19.7bn, and the group reported a net loss of €204m as a result of a near-€1bn impairment charge against multiple items including US craft brewer Lagunitas and its UK pub estate. Heineken is publicly quoted but still majority controlled by the founding family, led by Charlene de Carvalho. After 15 years as CEO, Jean-Francois van Boxmeer stepped down in summer 2020. His successor is Dolf van den Brink, previously regional president Asia Pacific.
Capsule checked 14th December 2020
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Historical profile information for Heineken
Adbrands Daily Update 18th Nov 2021: Heineken confirmed a deal to acquire South African drinks group Distell for around €2.2bn. The deal will add a large collection of wine and spirits brands to Heineken's portfolio, including Savanna cider, 4th Street wines and Amarula liqueur. At the same time, the group is buying out the shares it doesn't own in Namibia Breweries. Africa is considered to be one of the world's biggest growth markets for beer in the coming decade.
Adbrands Daily Update 18th May 2021: Heineken has made an approach to acquire "the majority" of South African alcohol business Distell. Both companies have confirmed the talks but the scale or form of any potential acquisition have not been disclosed. Distell produces a wide range of wine and spirits brands - two areas in which Heineken is not currently active - but also claims to be the world's second largest cider manufacturer. Cider and RTD beverages account for more than half of volumes and a little over a third of Distell's revenues. Brands include Hunter's and Savanna ciders and flavoured alcoholic beverages Esprit and Bernini. The most likely situation would be the buyout of the cider & RTD business, leaving Distell as a focused wines and spirits business.
Adbrands Daily Update 4th Nov 2020: Heineken made two announcements regarding global marketing assignments. The one that garnered the widest media coverage was the fact that it has appointed Publicis Groupe to launch a new dedicated agency to handle global creative for the brand. The new entity is to be named Le Pub, and will be headquartered in a converted bar in central Amsterdam. It is headed by Publicis Worldwide's global CCO Bruno Bertelli. However, Publicis already managed global creative for the Heineken brand. More financially significant, perhaps, is the news that Heineken will consolidate global media for all its brands with Dentsu's Red Star entity, which already handles the company's media in selected markets. Previously the business was split globally between Dentsu and Publicis. The French group will retain media only in its home market of France.
Adbrands Daily Update 15th Jan 2020: "Daniel Craig vs James Bond". We passed over the first of Heineken's new James Bond ads last week because it seemed like a wasted opportunity. Now we see why: it was merely a teaser for the full-strength edition, which is far more satisfying. Wieden & Kennedy originally launched these James Bond Heineken tie-ins when they had the account some years ago, but since then Publicis Worldwide has risen manfully to the creative challenge. The new film displays does a fine job of playing off jobbing actor Daniel Craig against his on-screen persona; and also gets to take advantage of some of the same locations as the new movie. You might recognize that hill-top village from the No Time To Die trailer. Daniel Craig probably won't regret hanging up Bond's tuxedo, but it's just possible he might miss the additional fun of making ads like this where he gets to take the mickey out of his alter ego.
Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Oct 2018: In the Netherlands, Starcom will surrender the local media for Heineken and its soft drinks subsidiary Vrumona at the end of this year to a new Dentsu Aegis unit to be named Red Star.
Adbrands Social Media 6th Jul 2018: FRIDAY CLASSIC: Heineken 'Walk-in Fridge' by TBWA Neboko (2009). This week's Classic hails from the Netherlands, but became such a huge hit online - 15 million views in just the first three months - that it was rapidly rolled out around the world, inspiring a deluge of unofficial tributes or spoofs as well as several follow-ups from Heineken itself. The brewer had itself only recently taken the decision to abandon its conservative family-controlled corporate stance and leap into the rapidly consolidating global market with the acquisition of British rival Scottish & Newcastle. Meanwhile at long-time agency TBWA\Neboko, founding creative partners Cor den Boer and Diederick Koopal were handing over to rising stars Jeroen van de Sande and Jorn Kruijsen. The time was clearly right to try something new. ...[Story continues here]..
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