Mon, Jun 18, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Local fruit-flavored beer readied for overseas markets

Staff writer, with CNA

Locally brewed beer flavored with seasonal tropical fruits have sold “better than expected” recently, drawing attention from distributors overseas, Taiwan’s state-run brewer said.

The Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (TTL, 台灣菸酒公司) launched pineapple and mango beer in early April and the two products have become so popular that “the supply was unable to meet the demand,” the company said.

Late last month, the two beers accounted for 6 percent of Taiwan’s total fruity beer market, which the company described as an “accomplishment,” because there were hundreds of different brands on store shelves.

With the increasing popularity, TTL has raised its annual sales goal from 3 million dozens (21.6 million liters) to 6 million. The company expects to see its market share rise from about 5 percent to 10 percent.

It was not the first time the company had launched fruit beer. Last year, it released white grape and lychee flavors under a different name, “Sweet Touch,” but they were not as big a hit as the pineapple and mango flavors.

“Localization is the key,” one sales director said. “The flavors are something consumers are familiar with and really enjoy.”

In the meantime, the company is developing other flavors, including orange and grape, which will hit the local market next year.

Distributors in Singapore and China have also expressed interest in the popular beverage line, the company said, adding that once the supply is sufficient to meet local demand, the company will expand to overseas markets.

To cope with the unexpected demand, TTL has doubled its production, expanded its juice procurement and secured a stable supply, the company said.

Beer in Taiwan was dominated by Taiwan Wine and Tobacco Monopoly products until 2002, when free trade became law in the country. Taiwan Beer, brewed by TTL, remains the main domestic brand.

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