Sales in Latin America are soaring for Bavarian wheat beer brand Paulaner with the brand citing rising demand for ‘genuine beer specialities’ instead of American light lager beers.
The Munich based brewery producers 2.9m+ hectolitres per year, and is sold in 74+ countries.
Although Europe is Paulaner’s largest sales region by far, export volumes to regions such as Asia-Pacific are growing strongly, and Latin American (LATAM) sales have nearly tripled since 2009 – with double-digit growth over the period – despite high tariffs on imported beer.
Brazil and Mexico are the continent’s most important markets for Paulaner, and the former – the world’s third largest beer market – generates more than half of the brewer’s LATAM sales, while young emerging high-growth markets include Uruguay, Paraguay, Cost Rica and Bolivia.
‘American Lights’ dominate LATAM market
Paulaner’s LATAM sales director, Dirk Wagenführer tells BeverageDaily.com: “Driven by robust economic growth in the key countries, the beer markets of Latin America are maturing considerably. Therefore, there is increasing demand for genuine beer specialties.”
“The key to success is the differentiation to the American light lager beer produced by the major breweries that dominate the Latin American beer market,” he adds.
Typical Bavarian wheat beer is easy to differentiate from regular lager beers because it is unfiltered and, therefore, cloudy; it is served in tall slender glass that allow bubbles to rise slowly to the top.
“Demonstrated by the waiter or barman [in LATAM], the correct pouring method is a skill that guests often find fascinating. That makes the difference,” Wagenführer said.
‘Best Bavarian brand ambassador’
German beer purity laws – ensuring use of only hops, barley, malt, yeast and water – in Paulaner mean it has a “clear brand and product profile” that has boosted distribution, Wagenführer claims.
Discussing brand identity – and the beer’s Munich heritage, with the brewery established in 1634 – Wagenführer said Paulaner “is probably the best brand ambassador of the Bavarian way of life”.
When people in Latin America think of Germany, their thoughts turn to Munich, its historical buildings, traditional clothes like lederhosen, beer and the Oktoberfest, Wagenführer says.
“If we are producing a TV commercial we do not need the help of location scouts. We are doing our commercials in our own Paulaner beer garden right next to the brewery,” he adds.
“We do not have to create a brand world because we already have it. That’s why the consumer perceives Paulaner as absolutely authentic and real. Authenticity is another important key to success,” Wagenführer adds.