Sat, Jun 12, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Promotions set to slake companies' thirst

BEER BONANZA Retailers are practically giving away brews, and even popcorn, in a bid to get a bigger market share over the summer boom season

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei County Acting Commissioner Lin Hsi-yao, second left, and others perform yesterday to promote next month's 2004 Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival at Fulung beach, Taipei County. The festival is co-sponsored by President Chain Store, which will be promoting Gold Medal Taiwan Beer during the July 16 to 18 event.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

A chic lady and a man both reach for the last bottle of beer in the refrigerator. The man is quicker and grabs it. She looks at him with a sweet smile and a thirst for the bottle in his hand. Should he please her or keep the beer to himself?

This is the latest TV commercial run by imported beer brand Heineken, which is aiming to snatch a bigger market share in the summer boom season.

"Beer sales usually go up in summer as beer companies ante up big money for advertisements," said Esther Lin (林翠娟), public relations specialist of Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利), the nation's second-largest convenience-store chain with around 1,590 outlets nationwide.

Retailers' beer promotions also provide a major impetus for sales, Lin said.

Starting last month, the Nikomart Co (福客多) convenience store chain has been offering discounts of up to 20 percent on a six-pack of beer.

As part of its "Happy Party" promotion, OK Mart (富群) is offering a discount of 21 percent for three cans of Heineken, Kirin Bar Beer or Kirin Ichiban -- any combination will do -- until the end of this month.

FamilyMart is giving away a NT$30 pack of popcorn with every six-pack of imported beer, the retail price of which has been slashed by around 15 percent this month, Lin said.

"We are prepared to distribute 100,000 free packs of popcorn during this year's promotional event," she said, adding that the strategy has boosted sales by 10 percent since June 1 compared with a year ago.

The nation's largest operator, President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), which runs 7-Eleven, is also launching various activities at full throttle.

"We will be showcasing 40 kinds of imported beer on sale -- the richest variety among convenience-store chains -- with nine of them newly introduced from Japan," said Zenia Lee (李玉雯), a public relations official at President Chain Store. "Three cans are sold for 21 percent off."

The big investments companies are forking out on beer promotions are worthwhile, as the summer sales are three times higher as those in winter, Lee said.

To heat up the beer-drinking atmosphere, President Chain Store is scheduled to hold a beer-beauty contest at 1:30pm today in front of its Tienmu outlet on Shihtung Road.

"Free imported beer is also available at the scene," she added.

As a co-sponsor of this year's Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival, to be held between July 16 and July 18 on the beach at Fulung in Taipei County, President Chain Store has teamed up with Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (台灣菸酒公司) to promote the commemorative Gold Medal Taiwan Beer brand.

The limited-edition, specially-designed cans will bear six different designs featuring sea monsters, as well as the music festival's logo.

"This is part of our continued efforts to reach the younger generation," said Martin Tsai (蔡木霖), Taiwan Tobacco's vice president.

Taiwan Tobacco's Taiwan Beer products account for around 83 percent of the nation's beer market, which was worth NT$27 billion last year.

China's Tsingtao Beer has an 8 percent share of the market.

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