AB InBev is going to challenge its direct rival in Heineken’s home market Netherlands with the launch of its leading brand Budweiser. From this week on, Bud, as the brand is named in Europe due to trademark battles with Czech brewery Budweiser Budvar (inside.beer, 27.1.2017), competes directly with Heineken in selected bars, pubs and restaurants in the Netherlands. Starting in September, the beer will also be available in supermarkets and other retail outlets.
Nicolas Bartholomeeusen, director of AB InBev Netherlands (which includes Budweiser) is convinced that 'the king of beer' can achieve a 'few percent market share' in the Netherlands. He also stresses the fact, that AB InBev is serious about the product launch. "We don't just want to give it a try, but we give it time."
There will be no alcohol-free beer for the time being. "There is more demand for just lager," said as quoted by RTL Nieuws. "We think that the lager market in the Netherlands is pretty stuck", says Bartholomeeusen. "We see an opportunity to stir this up."
The beer will be brewed at AB InBev’s headquarter in Leuven but there are currently no plans for a launch in Belgium as well.