Heineken increases grip on Polish beer market

Regional Browar Namysłów purchased for €117m

Heineken’s Polish operation, Grupa Żywiec, has moved to increase its share of Browar Namysłów, a brewery headquartered in western Poland, near Wrocław. The Dutch multinational already controlled 60% of the company but is now spending zl500m to take total ownership. Namysłów brands Braniewo and Zamkowe will now take their place alongside Żywiec, Warka and Tatra in the local Heineken portfolio.

Heineken currently holds second position in the tightly competitive beer market in Poland, producing 11 million hectolitres annually. Asahi’s conglomeration, including Tyskie and Lech is ahead with 13 million. The new arrangement will add a further 1.7 million to Heineken’s output, narrowing the gap significantly.

As in many markets in Europe and the world, consumer demand in Poland is moving away from large established brands and seeking a more diverse range of beers. The president of Grupa Żywiec, Guillaume Duverdier, has been quoted saying the acquisition of Namysłów will give Heineken a new flexibility to meet this demand.