Carlsberg begins brewing beer in Myanmar

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Yoma beer
Yoma, Carlsberg’s new beer brand – using rice in the brewing process – has been especially developed for the Myanmar market

Danish beer giant Carlsberg became the first foreign brewer to open a facility in Myanmar. The launch of the new $75-million brewery took place on May 7 in Bago, 80 kilometers northeast of commercial capital Yangon.

To obtain the license, Carlsberg has entered a 51-per cent joint venture with Myanmar Golden Star Group, a holding company involved in food and beverages, namely Pepsi, as well as agriculture and forestry, general trading, manufacturing and export/import and is owned by Myanmar tycoon U Thein Tun.

The brewery has a production capacity of 60 million liters per year and will produce the brands Carlsberg, Tuborg and Yoma. Carlsberg said it has no plans yet to export products from the plant and will concentrate on the beer market in Myanmar’s major cities. The Yoma brand has been developed especially for the Myanmar market.

Beer consumption in Myanmar is rather low in comparison with local peers. Standard Chartered research from 2014 put domestic consumption at four liters per capita per year, though adding consumption is still in its infancy and shows growth potential.

The top beer-drinking nation in ASEAN is Vietnam with a domestic consumption of around 40 liters per capita per year, followed by Thailand with 38 liters and the Philippines with 22 liters.

Figures from Euromonitor International show that the legal beer market in Myanmar – excluding black market imports, mostly from Thailand – hit 172 million liters in 2013, posting annual growth of 5.5 per cent since 2009. In dollar terms, beer sales amounted to $265 million in 2013, and have posted 14 per cent growth over 2009-2013. Annual growth of 21 per cent is expected up to 2018, when the market should reach a value $675 million, according to Euromonitor.

Carlsberg is mainly going to challenge market leader Myanmar Beer, the dominant brand in the country owned by Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, a conglomerate close to the military. Other brands to compete with will be Dagon, Mandalay Lager, Andaman Gold, Spirulina, as well as imported Tiger Beer from Singapore.

Another competitore will likely become Dutch brewer Heineken, which plans to open its own brewery in Myanmar through a joint venture with Myanmar’s Alliance Brewery Company in the near future.

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[caption id="attachment_24856" align="alignleft" width="300"] Yoma, Carlsberg's new beer brand - using rice in the brewing process - has been especially developed for the Myanmar market[/caption] Danish beer giant Carlsberg became the first foreign brewer to open a facility in Myanmar. The launch of the new $75-million brewery took place on May 7 in Bago, 80 kilometers northeast of commercial capital Yangon. To obtain the license, Carlsberg has entered a 51-per cent joint venture with Myanmar Golden Star Group, a holding company involved in food and beverages, namely Pepsi, as well as agriculture and forestry, general trading, manufacturing and export/import and...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yoma beer
Yoma, Carlsberg’s new beer brand – using rice in the brewing process – has been especially developed for the Myanmar market

Danish beer giant Carlsberg became the first foreign brewer to open a facility in Myanmar. The launch of the new $75-million brewery took place on May 7 in Bago, 80 kilometers northeast of commercial capital Yangon.

To obtain the license, Carlsberg has entered a 51-per cent joint venture with Myanmar Golden Star Group, a holding company involved in food and beverages, namely Pepsi, as well as agriculture and forestry, general trading, manufacturing and export/import and is owned by Myanmar tycoon U Thein Tun.

The brewery has a production capacity of 60 million liters per year and will produce the brands Carlsberg, Tuborg and Yoma. Carlsberg said it has no plans yet to export products from the plant and will concentrate on the beer market in Myanmar’s major cities. The Yoma brand has been developed especially for the Myanmar market.

Beer consumption in Myanmar is rather low in comparison with local peers. Standard Chartered research from 2014 put domestic consumption at four liters per capita per year, though adding consumption is still in its infancy and shows growth potential.

The top beer-drinking nation in ASEAN is Vietnam with a domestic consumption of around 40 liters per capita per year, followed by Thailand with 38 liters and the Philippines with 22 liters.

Figures from Euromonitor International show that the legal beer market in Myanmar – excluding black market imports, mostly from Thailand – hit 172 million liters in 2013, posting annual growth of 5.5 per cent since 2009. In dollar terms, beer sales amounted to $265 million in 2013, and have posted 14 per cent growth over 2009-2013. Annual growth of 21 per cent is expected up to 2018, when the market should reach a value $675 million, according to Euromonitor.

Carlsberg is mainly going to challenge market leader Myanmar Beer, the dominant brand in the country owned by Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, a conglomerate close to the military. Other brands to compete with will be Dagon, Mandalay Lager, Andaman Gold, Spirulina, as well as imported Tiger Beer from Singapore.

Another competitore will likely become Dutch brewer Heineken, which plans to open its own brewery in Myanmar through a joint venture with Myanmar’s Alliance Brewery Company in the near future.

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