Carlsberg’s plans to invest up to €100 million (US$117 million) in the Kronenbourg brewery in Obernai, France, Carlsberg’s largest brewery in Europe. The investments will allow further modernization and capacity increases as well as capability improvements and advances in environment, health & safety.
The announcement was made by Cees ‘t Hart, CEO of Carlsberg Group during a visit French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife and the Danish Crown Prince Couple in the historic New Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen.
The investment plans follow several years of positive developments in France as well as the recent international success of the Kronenbourg 1664 beers. Especially the Kronenbourg wheat variant, 1664 Blanc, has experienced significant success in recent years, growing an additional 55% in the first half of 2018 and surpassing 100 million liters.
Kronenbourg produces about 7 million hectoliters of beer which is nearly 40% of the national beer production and exports 20% of its production, including the brand 1664, which is marketed in 70 countries and is the best-selling French beer in the world. The French subsidiary of Carlsberg employs today 1.200 people, including 800 people in the brewery in Obernai close to Strasbourg, 160 in sales and marketing in Boulogne-Billancourt close to Paris, and 240 salespeople throughout France.
Carlsberg Group acquired Kronenbourg in 2008, when brewing operations of British group Scottish & Newcastle was split up between Heineken and Carlsberg. Kronenbourg is today the leading French brewer. It offers several French beers such as Kronenbourg, 1664, 1664 Blanc and Tourtel Twist (Alcohol Free) in addition to Carlsberg’s international portfolio, including Carlsberg and the Belgian abbey beer Grimbergen.
“We are proud of our position as the leading French brewer and of the impressive growth of Kronenbourg 1664 inside as well as outside of France. In order to continue to grow, we need to invest, and today’s announcement It is a testament to our shared values and promising growth opportunities,” says Carlsberg CEO, Cees ‘t Hart.
João Abecasis, CEO of Kronenbourg, welcomed this announcement: "This investment, which could amount to up to € 100 million, reflects the Carlsberg Group's confidence in Kronenbourg's ability to continue its development on the French beer market. It should enable us to maintain our competitiveness and continue to diversify our product portfolio in a growing beer market. "
Carlsberg is not the only brewer to invest in its French business. Early in 2017 Heineken announced to invest €9.3 million in a new packaging line at its brewery in Schiltigheim near Strasbourg to increase the capacity of the plant to 1.7 million hl. Since 2010, Heineken has invested more than €100 million in its three breweries in France. (inside.beer, 13.2.2017)
During the visit of the French Presidential Couple and the Danish Crown Prince Couple in the historic New Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen guests were offered Carlsberg, 1664 Blanc and a limited edition Ensemble beer, brewed with French yeast specifically for the French President. The Danish Minister for Culture, Ms Mette Bock, also announced the New CarlsbergFoundation’s commissioning of Gobelin artwork production in France to be displayed in both countries as a symbol of cultural exchange.
It is the second time a French president visits the New Carlsberg Glyptotek. In 1908, Carl Jacobsen, son of Carlsberg’s founder, who constructed the building and established the institution, hosted President Armand Fallières.
The New Carlsberg Glyptotek opened in 1897, following a private donation by brewer Carl Jacobsen from the profits generated by Carlsberg. In 1902, Carl Jacobsen and his wife, Ottilia, established the New Carlsberg Foundation with the objective to support the arts and secure the financial basis for the running of Glyptoteket. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek houses Denmark’s largest collection of French Impressionist works by masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, van Gogh, Cézanne and Rodin. The museum also has a collection of works by Paul Gauguin, four of which were produced in the mid-1880s when the artist was living in Copenhagen. The collection is regarded as one of the finest in the world.