Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Red Stripe stepping up Down Under

Published:Friday | August 5, 2016 | 8:00 AMChristopher Serju
Minister of Finance and Public Service Audley Shaw (left) and Minister of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture Karl Samuda (right) both put on safety gear moments before touring the Red Stripe plant on Spanish Town Road on Wednesday.

Local beer drinkers should benefit from a 12-pack Red Stripe carton offering following the commissioning into service of a new production line, exclusively for export production by late next year, according to Ricardo Nuncio, managing director of Red Stripe.

With an investment of €16 million, the new line will be dedicated to meeting the growing demand for the world's coolest beer in 35 markets across the world, including Australia.

US MARKET

Nuncio explained that the US market, where the Red Stripe 12-pack is already very well received, was a major factor in purchasing the new equipment, which he showed off during a plant tour on Wednesday.

"The US market is extremely focused on big packs - 12 packs, 18 packs. It's not a six-pack market.

"That's why we bought that big machine. So we are going to produce the 12-pack to be able to provide it to the US market, and we are now running some tests to see if we can also use that presentation for the local market," he disclosed.

He added that the 600-millimetre size lager accounts for 10 per cent of Red Stripe sales in the United States of America, where 12-packs account for 20 per cent of sales, with six-packs of the Red Stripe Stubbies making up the other 70 per cent.

Turning to Australia, where the per capita beer consumption of 109.9 litres per person ranks it fourth in global beer consumption, Nuncio was cautious, even as he described the response as promising.

AUSTRALIAN MARKET

"Australia is still very premature, I would say. We did 12 containers in the first shipment, three containers in the next shipment, and we're expecting to do close to 20 additional shipments for the rest of the year. So there is a lot of expectation of the Australian market."

He continued: "It is a market that is looking for new brands, brands that are sold at a premium price, and Red Stripe perfectly fits within that segment of products. So the Heineken company in Australia is very excited with the product. They ran some tests and consumers reacted very positively."

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com