During the last years, nothing has changed in the Dutch lager market. In a large part of the country, Heineken is the market leader. In the Dutch beer market, almost no beer from other countries than the Netherlands or Belgium is sold, however the aim of Budweiser is to change the Dutch beer market. Conquering the Dutch catering industry should be the first step.
The American brand Bud is part of the Belgian-Brazilian AB InBev, which also owns other famous brands: such as Corona, Hertog Jan and Jupiler. AB InBev is the largest beer producer in the world and is in North America profiled as ‘The King of Beers’. The target audience of Bud consists especially of people who are between 18 and 35 years old. According to the spokesman of AB InBev, the brand will appeal to a lot of people, because Budweiser is less bitter than other brands. According to the director of AB InBev The Netherlands, Nicolas Bartholomeeusen, Budweiser is therefore accessible for both men and women. Budweiser themselves calls it ‘drinkable’. This seems to be a good brand for students.
Non-alcoholic lager of Budweiser is not on the planning. Lately, beer with a low alcohol percentage has become more popular, so it’s a remarkable statement. For example, Radler is nowadays indispensable in the Dutch hospitality industry. Even the market leader in the Netherlands, Heineken, is selling more and more non-alcoholic beers.
It won’t be easy to conquer the Dutch hospitality industry, because cafes and restaurants have signed contracts, which will possibly last for (many) years. However, it is possible to take over the contracts. Even if Budweiser won’t succeed in increasing its market share in the hospitality industry, that does not mean right away that Budweiser is not able to increase its market share in the Dutch beer market in other ways. Money seems an important requirement to make this attempt succeed.
The first big step of Budweiser in the Netherlands was the sponsorship of Ajax. Budweiser replaced Jupiler as sponsor of the Amsterdam football club. I wonder whether the rise of Budweiser in the Netherlands means bad news for the other brands of AB InBev, such as Jupiler and Hertog Jan. For the time being, Heineken remains the beer that is poured in the Johan Cruijff Arena. Furthermore, Budweiser will be the official brand on the FIFA World Cup 2022. Besides, Budweiser will try to sell its lager beer at festivals and event halls.
Will ESV-members drink Budweiser soon instead of Schultenbräu?
By: Kelly Veldman