Business Case Studies, Restructuring / Turnaround Strategies Case Study, Heineken in Russia

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Restructuring / Turnaround Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

Heineken's Amstel Light Struggles to Recoup its No.1 Position in the US: Would its Strategy Work?

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Sanghamitra Bhattacharya, Menaka Rao

Industry: Beverages


Case Code: RTS0144B

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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In the 1980s, with the increasing consumption of light beer in the US alcoholic beverage market, Heineken N.V., one of the world’s largest breweries in Amsterdam, introduced Amstel Light in the US. Amstel Light was the first imported light beer in the US beer industry. By the mid 1990s, Amstel Light contributed 75% of the total growth of Heineken’s import segment in the US and became the No.1 importer in the US beer market. The Hispanic community grew and they demanded ‘high quality beer’ for which they were willing to pay, ‘high prices’ encouraged Mexican beer (Corona Light and Corona Extra Light) to enter and subsequently capture the US light beer market. By 2005, Corona Extra led the market whereas Heineken’s Amstel Light had slipped to the No. 7 position in the US market for imported beer. To reclaim its No.1 position, the company launched a new light beer called ‘Heineken Premium Light Lager.’ In addition to this, the company also tried to promote its Amstel Light through intensive promotional strategies.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • The case deals with the different dimensions of the beer industry.
  • It analyses the competitive strategies of US beer category
  • It deals with the importance of advertising and promotional strategy in alcoholic beverage industry.
  • The case also analyses the concept of brand extension in beer industry.

Keywords : Heineken's Premium Light; US Beverage Industry; Heineken's Foray in the US; The growth of Light beers; Amstel Light; Restructuring / Turnaround Strategies Case Study; Hispanic Community; Competition scenario in the US beer market; Corona beers; Corona Light; Corona Extra Light; Promotional Campaign; Advertising strategy; Brand Extension; Cannibalization

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