Heineken Sees Moderation of Growth

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Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Heineken NV, the world’s third-biggest brewer, expects growth to moderate in the remainder of the year after posting profit in the first half that topped analysts’ estimates. Heineken Chief Marketing Officer Alexis Nasard speaks on “The Pulse.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Growth.

That is after it posted profit in the first half.

Joining us now from amsterdam is alexis nasard, heineken's president of western europe and the chief marketing officer.

Thank you for coming to talk to us.

Can i ask about this call for growth to moderate?

You have western europe under your belt.

Do you expect to see moderation in western europe or elsewhere?

Our growth in the first half of the year is from to phenomenon -- two phenomenons.

We had good weather and the world cup.

Underlying that, we had a structure and competitive position in western europe.

We have our own market sharee -- we have grown market share in almost every market.

That journey is not only related to our results, but also in the second half of 2013. we grew 70% of the business in western europe.

One is circumstantial because of the external environment, but we are also much more competitive.

Can i ask you about that structural improvement?

What do you put that down to?

Why are you managing to take the market with the heineken brand?

It is almost all of our priority brands have grown share in half of this year and the second half of 2013. we are investing ahead of the curve.

We're are investing a lot more right now in our business, in our innovation.

Quantitatively and qualitatively.

We are innovating a lot more than we have ever innovated.

Our innovation rate is three times the level that is was years ago.

We are working in on and off trade channels.

That is crucial.

Even though you have a lot of structural dynamics in the region which are not positive, as you know, growing population, less alcohol drinking, a lot of that moderation in the development of the beer category was also self-inflicted.

Collectively, we did not innovate a lot.

For the category to be competitive, we need to innovate and that is crucial going forward.

How much can innovation take on this trend away from drinking some of the more standard beers and awat from beer entirely -- away from beer entirely?

Quite a lot.

Even though europe bashing was a sport for quite a few years, we are living in an economic powerhouse.

We are 30% of the world gdp.

You have educated consumers who are very interested in innovation.

At the worst of the economic crisis, you had people queuing up and standing in line all my to buy the next iphone.

You have an educated, affluent consumer who is excited about innovation.

Innovation can take us quite far as a player, as a company, and as a category.

I saw an interesting study recently in the american association of wine economists.

They said consumers struggle to tell the difference between various european pale loggers.

-- lagers.

Is that just sour grapes from the wine industry?

Or is there something in that?

Has the beer industry done enough to distinguish its products, one from the other?

Yes, i think we have and we should do a lot more.

Contrary to wine, it remains to a great extent and agricultural product.

Beer is branded.

The power of brand is nice.

What we can do in terms of brand management to stimulate interest to differentiate brands.

It is unlimited.

To that end, you are increasing spending in the u.k., in terms of cider production.

What are the innovations you are mostly talking about?

Qw we have a lot of innovations happening in the company.

The most visible are the ones related to the global brands, like heineken, like desperado.

We innovate a lot on our global brands.

If we take the u.k., some of our healthiest and fastest-growing brands include the brands growing strongly in the u.k. cool marketing, good execution, a powerful innovation program.

Consumers are loving it.

To that point, it corroborates what i said earlier, in terms of how innovation can stimulate the category.

Cider benefits from the macro economic environment.

It innovates very vigorously.

That is one point that is

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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