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Hijos de Rivera has found success in Brazil for its Estrella Galicia beer brand, as consumers trade up to higher-priced labels.

The brand, which was launched in the country two years ago, already sells 2m litres a year in the premium segment. In an interview with just-drinks earlier this month, a Hijos de Rivera executive said that the Spanish company's growth in Brazil is “going fantastic”.

“The market is very open to the higher beer price segment, so Brazilian people are moving from low segment beer to higher segment beer,” said the brewery's strategic planning director Jorge Montero. “That's good news for us.

“The market is so big that you can easily find a segment. We don't want to be number one in volume - what we are looking for is value, and we are doing a good job there.”

Montero was speaking at an event last week marking Estrella Galicia's launch in the UK, the brand's second overseas market after Brazil. The beer will also launch in Germany, Japan and a handful of other countries.

UK distributor PLB said the core Estrella Galicia 4.7% label will only launch in the on-trade, with the super-premium 1906 Reserva Especial and Alcohol Free 0.0% set to enter the UK's competitive off-trade.

“(Take-home) is a crowded market, it's a commoditised market,” a PLB spokesperson said. “Only having the 4.7% in on-trade will help make it unique for consumers.”

The spokesperson also said that the similarity of Estrella Galicia's name to Barcelona beer brand Estrella Damm will have a “positive impact” as it helps foster familiarity with Spanish beer.

“We are aware that the on-trade is about bar calls, and people will ask simply for Estrella. It's one of those things where we ask, are we losing out over it or do we use it to our benefit?”

Hijos de Rivera is based in A Coruna in northern Spain. Estrella Galicia is Spain's fourth biggest selling beer brand, shifting 140m litres a year in the country.


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