Anheuser-Busch InBevs Quilmes seeks to capitalise on Argentine beer demand

Anheuser-Busch InBev's Quilmes seeks to capitalise on Argentine beer demand

Anheuser-Busch InBev's Quilmes brewer is to spend ARS3bn (US$730.2m) up to 2015 to meet growing consumer demand for beer in its native Argentina.

Quilmes, which also bottles PepsiCo soft drinks, will invest the money to increase production capacity and upgrade distribution facilities, Argentina's Government announced late yesterday (6 July). It also plans to produce more glass bottles for its domestic beers, which include its namesake brand.

The A-B InBev subsidiary accounts for around three in every four beers sold in Argentina, but competition is set to grow on the market as more consumers develop a thirst for beer. Last year, SABMiller joined the fray by acquiring the country's third biggest brewer, Casa Isenbeck.

Argentina's beer market was worth ARS8.1bn in 2009, having grown by 4.8% annually since 2004, according to a report published by market research group Datamonitor last year. It predicted that value growth would rise by 4.4% annually on average up to 2014.

Chile's CCU, which is part-owned by Heineken, is Quilmes' nearest rival, with a 12% volume share of the market. SABMiller's Casa Isenbeck has just a 7% share, according to Datamonitor figures.