Waning popularity in Europe for AB InBev’s Belgium wheat beer Hoegaardenhas caused the Leuven-based brewer to shift money from the traditional brand to other brands like the lower alcohol radler varieties of Hoegaarden. The original beer, which is traditionally popular in Belgium, the Netherlands and France and to a minor extend as well in the United Kingdom will get less attention and sales support in Europe in the future. Still, the brand keeps its status as a focus brand in Asia because of its rising popularity in China, South Korea and Russia.
"Hoegaarden is still an international brand, just like Leffefor example," explains AB InBev's Zone President for Europe, Stuart MacFarlane. 80% of the production goes abroad. AB InBev will shift the money to other more promising brands like Hoegaarden’s radler varieties (wheat beer mixed with a soft drink). Last year AB InBev invested more than €5.7 million in the brewery in Hoegaarden, 50 kilomters south-east of Brussels. The money went mainly in fermentation tanks to widen an existing bottleneck.