RUSSIA: Heineken set to wield axe on brand stable
Heineken has said it will know by the end of June which of its Russian brands it will keep after reviewing its portfolio in the wake of a slew of acquisitions in the country last year.
The Dutch company snapped up six Russian breweries last year to become the country's third-largest brewer, a series of deals that bolstered its brand portfolio in the fast-growing beer market.
A spokesperson for Heineken in St. Petersburg told just-drinks today (20 April) that the brewer now owned 36 brands in Russia - and each label had to be profitable to survive in the portfolio.
"We are optimising our brand portfolio and deciding which brands to produce in which region. We try to make sure we are well represented in each segment and have brands that are profitable, have good potential and bring in good margins.
"If they don't we will delist them, like we did in Siberia with the Sobol brand. By May or June, we should have a clearer picture on the brands we want."
However, the spokesperson refused to comment on reports that Heineken was planning to begin brewing its Edelweiss brand in Russia this summer. "We are not announcing any new launches at the moment," she said.
Last month, Heineken struck a deal with Anheuser-Busch to begin brewing Budweiser in Russia.
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