Germany: Top 15 beer brands show mixed results

Inside Getränke, the independent German journal for the beverage industry has published its highly regarded brand chart for the first half of 2018, which features the top 15 brands of the German beer market.

In the first 6 months of this year, Krombacher could convincingly extend its lead and has gained another 98,000 hl or 3.3% and thus exceeded the overall market, which rose by about 2%. The biggest volume increase came from the lead brand Krombacher Pils, which could stock up another 46,000 hl despite a price increase in March. Sales Director Stephan Maubach can be credited with positives sales three years in a row against an overall negative trend in the pils segment.

Second came Oettinger, a brand traditionally placed in the entry-level price segment, which becomes increasingly squeezed from above by fading brands like AB InBev’s Hasseröder and from below from aggressive players like TCB (Brauhaus Frankfurt, Feldschlösschen, Brasserie Champigneulles, Gilde). Sales of Oettinger decreased by 0.9% in the first half of 2018, also because the management under the lead of Peter Böck, who just took office, (, 2.2.2018) still needs some time to redefine the strategy. On top, the brewery suffered from disputes over its ownership after the sudden death of its former managing partner Dirk Kollmar four years ago (, 6.10.2017), which was followed by a complete replacement of the group’s management (, 31.10.2017).

Bitburger, which is placed on the third rank, could gain 1.5% in volume sales. The increase could have been more if the brand had not increased prices in January, far ahead of the rest of the pack.

Veltins is one of the biggest winners of the list and gained +7.8%. Veltins Pils, the lead brand of the brewery from the Sauerland region, could gain 9.4% in the bottle and 3% in the keg.

Beck’s, the first brand in the list that is not family owned, increased its volume sales moderately by 1% and ranked fifth. The brand still suffers from the uncertainty about the sale AB InBev’s other brands Hasseröder and Diebels (, 2.7.2018) which is linked to a reorganization of AB InBev’s sales team.

Paulaner, which follows on rank 6, could gain ground, which was lost when the brewery was relocated from a location close to the city of Munich to its outskirts. At that time the brewery was not able to handle the logistics in a timely manner. As a consequence, two of its top managers had to leave the company (, 26.4.2018). A plus of 10.6% in the first half of 2018 is therefore not a sign of impressive growth but marks mainly a recovery of lost volume.

Warsteiner(+1.9%), Hasseröder(+1.5%) Erdinger(+0.2%), Augustiner(+4.0%), Franziskaner(+5.5%), Jever(+5.5%), Ur-Krostitzer (+8.1%), and König(-5.0%) follow on positions 7 to 15.

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