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Heineken to target younger market as part of new growth strategy

DBR Staff Writer Published 31 October 2005

Europe's largest brewer, Heineken NV, is to embark on an acquisition spree and attempt to make its flagship lager brand more appealing to young consumers as increased competition and sluggish sales continue to blight its more mature beer markets.

Marc Bolland, Heineken's chief operating officer, told the Financial Times that the company intended to pursue worldwide scale through local and regional acquisitions as well as organic growth. Although brewers in the US and western Europe are currently searching for ways to maintain growth as consumers drink less beer, Mr Bolland stressed that Heineken's success did not depend on matching its competitors' sales volumes, and that it was not trying to become the world's biggest brewer. The Dutch firm told the FT it intended to drive growth by improving the way it sells and markets the Heineken brand, which accounts for 20% of total volume. The news comes just a week after Heineken revealed it is to stop advertising on TV in 2006, as it believes the medium is no longer effective in reaching the company's beer brands' target demographic: young, affluent, male consumers.