Hungary plans to curb dominance of multinational brewers

The Hungarian government is planning to curb the dominance of multinational brewers, according to government commissioner for trade policy Kristof Szatmary. He said that the larger international companies were impeding the access to markets of smaller Hungarian-owned craft breweries, referring to findings from 2015, that 90% of the Hungarian beer market was dominated by only three international brewing groups. The Hungarian authorities criticized the companies for the beer sold under exclusive contracts with hotels, restaurants and other catering outlets and called on the companies to reduce the volume.

Euromonitor published in June a report, saying that the overall total volume share of Dreher Sörgyárak (Asahi ), Borsodi Sörgyár (Molson Coors) and Heineken Hungária Sörgyárak was 83% in 2016.

Dreher Sörgyárak led with a 33% total volume share thanks to its wide product range, which covers all key types of beer, from economy to premium, from standard lager to ale.The leading brands from Dreher Sörgyárak are Arany Ászok, Kobányai Világos and Dreher, which have a very long history in Hungary. Besides its traditional domestic brands, the company also offers high-quality foreign brands such as Hofbrau and Guinness.

Dreher is followed by Borsodi Sörgyár, with a 27% total volume share in 2016. This is thanks to the Borsodi, Stella Artois and Holsten brands, besides the smaller but highly reputed Staropramen, Beck’s and Löwenbräu imported beer brands.

Heineken Hungária Sörgyárak also offers well-known domestic and international brands and covers all segments of beer with its Soproni, Heineken, Adambräu, Kaiser and Gösser brands, and with economy products such as Arany Fácán and Sárkány.

Hungary also plans to ban the red star logo of the Heineken brand because the symbol could remind people of oppression by totalitarian regimes, such as the former communist regimes in Central Europe. (, 21.3.2017)

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