Colombia: CCU and Postobón inaugurate 3 million hl brewery

After having postponed the inauguration several times, Central Cervecera Colombiana (CCC), has officially inaugurated last Friday its 3 million hectoliter brewery in the city of Sesquilé, located 60 km outside of Colombia’s capital Bogotá. The investment in the new plant and market was USD 474 million, up from initially planned USD 400 million (, 13.3.2017).

CCC is a fifty-fifty joint venture between Postobón, market leader in non-alcoholic beverages in Colombia, and Compañía Cervecerías Unidas (CCU) from Chile, controlled by the Chilean group Quiñenco – owned by the Luksic family, one of the richest families in Chile with interests in mining, finance, industry, and beverages – and the Dutch brewing group Heineken. CCU has operating units in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

CCU entered the Colombian market in the 1990s but had to subsequently abandon it again. This is now the second attempt to conquer the third biggest beer market in Latin America with a yearly per capita consumption of close to 50 liters where AB InBev has a market share of about 98 percent.

"In terms of CCU, Colombia is our big challenge. We are in Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay, but Colombia remains the biggest challenge for us," Andrónico Luksic, chairman of Quiñenco and CCU said at the inauguration ceremony which was also attended by Colombia’s President Ivan Duque.

"We have been brave enough to throw this project against a competitor with that market dominance. But we are convinced that we have a great product and we are already seeing since our start in February with Andina that the market is asking for Andina. That's a great thing for us," Luksic added.

Andina is CCC’s first domestic brand. The company plans to progressively launch other beer brands of Heineken’s international portfolio such as Heineken, Tecate, Miller Lite and Sol.

"With this plant and its installed capacity of 3 million hectoliters we hope to reach our goal of achieving a market share close to 12 percent," said CCC general manager Mauricio Medina, at the inauguration ceremony.

For the future, the company has even bigger goals. "We have a vocation for multiple categories including wines and liquors. But this is a future project. For now we are focused on beer," Luksic said.

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