Pandemic leads Heineken to cut 8,000 jobs22 Feb 2021
Dutch brewing giant Heineken announced it will cut 8,000 jobs as part of a new restructuring effort. The timeline for these job reductions will vary across locations, but the company did say that its head-office will see a 20% reduction in positions at the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Redesigning the global organization over the course of 2021 will cost Heineken €331 million, but the company anticipates this initial outlay will help it save €2 billion over the three years through 2023. Other initiatives playing into this savings goal are an efficiency program aimed at reducing the number of SKUs at the company and curtailing ineffective spending.
As the beer industry continues to struggle with shrinking margins resulting from consumers look for alternative beverages, Heineken is working to boost its margins to 17% by 2023, a level that the company maintained pre-pandemic, Bloomberg reported. However, restructuring its workforce is only one way that the beer brewer is hoping to achieve that goal.
In its annual earnings report for 2020, Heineken said that it will amplify its strong premium positioning by making fewer, bigger bets in local premium brands. More notably, the Dutch conglomerate said it is looking to “move beyond beer, innovating to serve consumers better.”
According to the company release, leaving beer behind looks like both growing its no-alcohol portfolio, where the crown jewel is currently Heineken 0.0, as well as expanding into other categories such as Hard Seltzer. In September, the company launched a seltzer called Pure Piraña in Mexico and New Zealand.
Despite its defined road map, Heineken has an uphill battle. In 2020, the company’s net sales dropped 11.9% organically with beer volumes slumping 8.1%.
But Heineken isn’t alone. Plenty of beer brewers suffered last year as the pandemic compounded woes from previous years. Last September, a report from the Beer Institute, the Brewers Association, the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the American Beverage Licensees tallied up the damage from the pandemic, showing that the more than 651,000 jobs supported by the U.S. beer industry will be lost going into 2021. The report predicted that retail beer sales would fall by $22 billion (€1.64 billion) at the end of 2020. And these forecast numbers come on the tail of four years of sales declines.
While more traditional brews have suffered in terms of sales volumes, no-alcohol alternatives and hard seltzers have made a bid to take over the lost market share. As demand for these alternative beverages grows, companies have responded. AB InBev and Molson Coors have both invested in beverages to serve modern consumers. Molson Coors has particularly pushed the envelope and released a plant-based diet soda and a milk alternative that is grain-based.
Heineken has not gone as far, but it did launch a virgin version of its Desperados beer in January. Its craft brand Lagunitas is also moving further into the alternative libations space and has a zero-alcohol HOP beer as well as a non-alcoholic IPNA that it released in the U.S this past December.
Sugar tax in South Africa results in ‘positive changes’
23 Apr 2021
A study published in The Lancet found that following the 2018 implementation of a 10% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in South Africa, the overall consumption of sugar from these beverages fell 35% from 16.25 grams per person daily to 10.63 grams per ...Read more
Danone Manifesto Ventures makes first UK-based investment
8 Apr 2021
Danone’s VC arm, Danone Manifesto Ventures (DMV) made its first investment in a UK-based business with its commitment to a £2.5m funding round for the healthy drinks brand Moju. Moju said the French Dairy giant’s minority investment in the company will...Read more
Topo Chico finally debuts its hard seltzer
1 Apr 2021
Molson Coors Beverage Company, which is exclusively manufacturing Topo Chico Hard Seltzer through a brand authorization agreement with Coca-Cola, finally released the concept onto shelves on March 29 after announcing the development of the brand in Jul...Read more
Chobani enters into pilot program with PepsiCo
30 Mar 2021
Greek yogurt maker Chobani recently entered into a distribution partnership with PepsiCo to sell its new yogurt drinks at convenience stores, colleges and universities in the northeastern part of the U.S. In the original report on this news, Bloomberg ...Read more
Danone revamps itself, ousting CEO and adding to its portfolio
24 Mar 2021
As Danone continues to face pressure both from industry competition as well as activist investors, the company has decided to separate its chairman and CEO roles, which are currently held by Emmanuel Faber. Additionally, Danone is searching for a new C...Read more
Nestlé purchases Essentia Water, increases functional water portfolio
18 Mar 2021
Nestlé entered into an agreement in early March to acquire ionized alkaline water brand Essentia Water, which the Swiss company said was the No. 1 selling bottled water brand in the natural channel.Read more
Ocean Spray launches Wave caffeinated sparkling water
16 Mar 2021
Cranberry brand Ocean Spray launched a new line of functional water through an exclusive partnership with Walmart. Called Wave, the caffeinated sparkling water contains 50mg of caffeine derived from black tea, real fruit juice, and has no added sugars,...Read more
Coffee start-up to scale up ‘digitization’ of coffee aroma with $3m funding
11 Mar 2021
Colombian-Israeli start-up Demetria is ready to scale up its Artificial Intelligence-driven tools that digitize the taste and aroma of coffee after closing a $3 million seed funding round.Read more
Drizly predicts that hard seltzer will get more flavorful in 2021
11 Mar 2021
The U.S. alcohol delivery service Drizly expects “hard alternatives” to continue to flourish in 2021. However, the category is no longer limited to seltzer with hard versions of iced tea, kombucha and lemonade gaining ground amid a demographic that is ...Read more
Healthy Height expands into China
9 Mar 2021
Healthy Height, the nutritional shake brand which has been clinically proven to increase children’s height is expanding its e-commerce presence in China.Read more
Are you a supplier?
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation