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 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. Subsequent purchases include Singaporean brewer Asia Pacific Breweries, owner of Tiger Beer; and Schincariol in Brazil.
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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Aug 2018: Heineken ramped up its brand footprint in China in a major deal with local giant China Resources Enterprises, owner of top-selling mass-market beer Snow. Heineken will sell its local operations to China Resources, and will at the same time acquire a near-21% stake in the larger company. CRE will in return acquire a little under 1% of the Dutch group. Net cost to Heineken will be around $2.3bn. In Heineken, CRE gains its first premium brand to tackle the growing local popularity of Budweiser. "China is a continent and we are a small organization and to scale up for us is just unaffordable," said Heineken CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer. "CRE lacks a premium brand for growth and we lack the distribution reach in China that CRE has. They have a formidable selling machine. They are very motivated to make a big acceleration of the Heineken brand. It's about mobilizing people on the ground to bring the beer in so many more cities and provinces and outlets in which today we are not."
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]..
Adbrands Social Media 18th Jun 2018: There are more smiles than belly laughs in Publicis New York's latest for Heineken USA but at the very least it recovers some of the ground lost by that controversial, supposedly racist campaign for Heineken Light, and is far superior to those grim spots featuring Benicio del Toro. The squares' party is especially well characterised. We're not quite so sure about the hipsters' hangout. Would they really still be playing that old surfing chestnut Surfin' Bird in 2018?
Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Jun 2018: Heineken named Maggie Timoney as CEO of its US division from September, replacing Ronald den Elzen who is moving to an as yet unspecified global role. Timoney previously led the brewer's Irish subsidiary. She becomes the first female CEO of any major American beer company.
Adbrands Social Media 16th May 2018: "Hold My Beer". Amstel - the *other* Dutch beer in the Heineken portfolio - doesn't get the kind of coverage enjoyed by its more famous sibling. Shame really, because it's a fine beer, and agency 180 Kingsday (the former 180 Amsterdam) has turned out some excellent ads in its honour. We've featured several on these pages before. Here's the latest, like its predecessors celebrating Amstel's symbolic role as a form of social glue that binds friends together. In this case, for a little longer than strictly necessary...
Adbrands Social Media 1st May 2018: "It's Cider Time!". We do love a clever bit of split-screening! Heineken's international cider Strongbow has this clever new global ad out from Dutch creative boutique Cloudfactory. There's no big idea as such, just some really witty and clever juxtapositions of different images across the split. Great music too from the sadly missed Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. You can probably expect to see a lot more of this ad over the course of the summer (if and when that arrives): Heineken are rolling it out across 20 countries.
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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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