Belgium-based brewer AB InBev has decided to reduce investments in its wheat beer Hoegaarden, because the beer is no longer a European priority. The money will go to other beers, like Hoegaarden's radler varieties.
For a long time, AB InBev invested a lot in Hoegaarden, a very well-known beer in Belgium, the Netherlands and France. It is also available in other European countries like the United Kingdom, but nevertheless, the brewery feels it only has a limited growth potential.
Sales in Belgium and the Netherlands have been stable for a while and the brand has even slumped slightly in France. Other brands have also noticed wheat beer's waning popularity, both locally and abroad. "We mainly sell our Vedett White wheat beer abroad, in countries like Japan and China", brewery Duvel Moortgat said. "The local demand is small, because Belgium has an abundance of craft beers."
AB InBev's decision does not mean it will no longer invest in the brand. "Hoegaarden is still an international brand, just like Leffe for example," AB InBev's Zone President for Europe, Stuart MacFarlane, said. Hoegaarden will keep its position as a focus brand in Asia and we will keep investing in the brand there to help it grow. Over the past few years, Hoegaarden's popularity rose in Russia, China and South Korea." The company will also invest in Hoegaarden's factory, where 80 % of the production goes abroad.