Thailand: ThaiBev to relaunch Federbräu

In order to challenge the growing premium and import beer segment in Thailand, Thai Beverage Public Compamy (ThaiBev) has relaunched its German-inspired beer Federbräu.

According to Edmond Neo Kim Soon, CEO of Chang International Co, a subsidiary of ThaiBev, the company hopes to succeed in penetrating the Thai premium beer market, which accounts for  Bt7.2 billion ($208m) or about 5% of the total Thai beer market. The premium segment consists mainly of imported brands or foreign beers brewed under license like Kirin, Asahi, San Miguel, and Tiger. Since the late 2000's, Thailand has increasingly imported foreign beers, but high duties and alcohol taxes and a limited distribution has restricted the sale of such brands. Federbräu now tries to conquer this segment with a Thai beer brand which is brewed in accordance with the German purity law using only malt and hops from Germany.

Main competitor Boon Rawd with its flagship brand Singha already undertook a similar step with Mittweida, a brand named after a small German brewery, which was bought in 1994 and subsequently operated by Boon Rawd for a couple of years. The concept to introduce this brand into the Thai beer market failed and the brand was in 2003 replaced by Kloster, a beer brewed in partnership with AB InBev.

“We decided to introduce Federbräu to the Thai premium beer market as we believe there is strong growth potential. New-generation consumers want products that help support their image, while favoring beverages with a unique and distinctive taste. Federbräu can fulfill their demands. … Our marketing strategy will focus on German-inspired premium taste. We are confident the new Federbrau beer can appeal to modern premium consumers,” Edmond Neo Kim Soon said. And he added: "It's the right time to relaunch Federbrau because of the readiness of our team and research that indicates our consumers are looking for something different. The new image of Federbrau will help enhance our beer portfolio in Thailand.”

ThaiBev appeals to the Thai beer market in three different segments: Archa, an American style adjunct lager, in the economy segment, Chang as a mainstream beer and Federbräu, in the premium segment.  Federbräu, which was first introduced into the Thai beer market in 2008, is an all malt beer produced entirely from German malt and hops.

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