SABMiller milks local experience in Vietnam

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beer Hops Pilsner urquell Vietnam

Vinamilk, one of Vietnam's leading dairy companies, is to team up
with global brewer SABMiller as its looks to enter the country's
dynamic beer market.

The news continues the trend of multinational brewers looking for local partners to better adapt to the demands of Vietnamese consumers, and a general growth in appetite for beer in the country. Vinamilk, which already holds a strong distribution presence and knowledge of the local market through its dairy operations, will combine with SAB to help push the brewers leading brands like Peroni, Pilsner UrQuell and Miller into the country. A new €33m plant, which opened its door last week, is expected to allow the two groups to produce 100m litres of beer per year. However, the venture faces strong competition from a number of other multinational brewers keen on cornering the Vietnamese market. Just last month, rival Calrsberg acquired a 10 per cent stake in Vietnam's second largest brewer, Habeco, which is a state-owned company. Despite having been operating in the country since 1993, Carlsberg has recently stepped up its production capabilities as the market reaches fruition. The expected average annual growth for beer production in Vietnam is around eight per cent, according to the company's estimates. As a result, Carlsberg expects to see beer sales in the country to rise to from around 15m to 28.1m hectolitres by 2015, making the market the third largest in Asia. This confidence was recently also matched by Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), which sees Vietnam as a vital player in the lucrative regional demand for beer. APB heralded its increasing presence in the Indochina market as a key factor in their successful first quarter results, with recent purchases such as the acquisition of the Fosters brand in Vietnam helping it to a 26 per cent increase in volume.

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