Wednesday 25 May 2022

Heineken buys into China’s biggest brewer and world’s biggest beer market

The old brewery in Amsterdam. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Dutch brewing giant Heineken has paid €2.7bn for a 40% stake in the company which controls China’s biggest beer firm, China Resources Beer.

China is the biggest beer market in the world and this step gives Heineken access to a strong distribution network in China and to one of the world’s fastest-growing premium beer sectors. The Dutch firm currently has just three breweries in China and a tiny market share.

In addition, Heineken plans to introduce Chinese beers, including the popular Snow Beer, to the rest of the world.

‘China’s beer market, the world’s largest beer market by volume, is now the second largest premium beer market globally and is forecast to be the biggest contributor to premium volume growth in the next five years, driven by its rapidly growing middle class,’ Heineken said in a statement.

‘The profitability of the Chinese beer market is expected to improve significantly, driven by premiumisation, demand for international beer brands and cost optimisation.’

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