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Budweiser for Vietnam

Source: 9/Dec/2004 Beverage Daily

Dec 13, 2004, 07:19

Beer giant Anheuser-Busch has continued to extend the reach of its Asian business following its announcement to form a cooperation agreement with Vietnam’s largest brewer, Saigon Beer.

The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding for ‘cooperation and experience sharing’ in areas relating to management, technology, distribution, marketing, brand and market development.

US-based Anheuser-Busch said in a statement that the two companies have recognised the growth potential of the Vietnamese beer market. It added that the mutual agreement would provide the opportunity to explore and discuss opportunities for further cooperation in the future.

Anheuser-Bush CEO Stephen Burrows said in a statement that the Budweiser brand would probably be the first to be rolled out in the country, ”but we first need to grow our business so that our volume can sustain our minimum brewing requirements.”

Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverages Corp supports leading Vietnamese brands such as 333, Saigon Export and Saigon Special. It has a 30% market share in the country and exports to a number of international markets, chiefly in Asia.

Anheuser-Busch is one of the world’s leading beer brewers and known for its global Budweiser and Michelob brands. It is currently the leading brewer in the US market and has also built up a strong presence in the China market where it has a major brewer facility as well as a partnership with the country’s leading brewer, Tsingtao Brewery.

Analysts say that the move is typical of Anheuser’s international strategy, and falls in line with the agreement that the company has with Tsingtao in China. The basic criteria involves identifying a market with significant growth potential and then teaming up with the biggest domestic player.