The FINANCIAL — Georgian Beer Company is taking actions to introduce new products this year and further develop on both the local and export marketsThe company now has wide range portfolio of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
In the coming months, Georgian Beer Company will be offering these drinks to Georgian customers: RC Orange, an orange-flavoured soft drink. This product come from American company Royal Crown Cola’s portfolio, which is already represented on the Georgian market with its RC Cola soft drink and energy drink RadRain thanks to Georgian Beer Company, which got the right to produce these drinks in 2016. Recently, Georgian Beer Company introduced its first natural juices Chero, which are made from local raw materials and produced using the latest technology of ‘aseptic’. Aseptic bottling allows for the possibility of maintaining the fruits’ vitamins and precious components. There is no analogue of this in Georgia, nor in any of its neighbouring countries.
About GEL 25 million (Georgian national currency Lari) was invested in the juice production that takes place at Zedazeni Factory, in the village of Saguramo. The plant is equipped with high tech devices, referring to the aseptic line, which is envisaged for the production of natural juices as well. Bavaria beer is also one of the latest brands that Georgian Beer Company has introduced in Georgia.
After one year of successful operations on the Georgian market, Bavaria and RadRain received Golden Brand awards this year. Georgian Beer Company was established in 2011 with a clear goal: to become the leading player in Georgia’s beer and beverage industry. Over the years the company has cemented itself as a major beer and beverage producer not only in Georgia, but in the whole of the Caucasus region. As of today, Georgian Beer Company produces the following beers: Zedazeni; Bavaria; Sviani; Belgium Standard, König Pilsener and Kӧning Dark Pilsener. It also produces these soft drinks: Lemonade; RC Cola; Diet Lemonade; Lemonade Premium; RadRain; Wilder and Baiho.
Q. Georgian Beer Company received Golden Brand awards this year for two nominations – one for the beer Bavaria and the other for energy drink RadRain. Both brands appeared on the Georgian market last year. So in the course of just one year’s time both of them have gained a great reputation among customers as well as experts. How did Georgian Beer Company achieve this goal?
A. First of all, both products are distinguished by their quality. Quality is very important to Georgian Beer Company and we always offer customers products which are of a high standard of quality. Also, both brands are successful on international markets and it is no surprise that the Georgian market is no exception. It was prestigious for us that Bavaria, which generally chooses its partners with great care, decided to establish cooperation with Georgian Beer Company and let us brew Bavaria. The decision was made easily because Georgian Beer Company is a well-trusted company, equipped with modern, high quality technologies and well-experienced in its field. We proved that it is possible in Georgia to produce world-level production, and the experts who revealed the Golden Brand winners this year took this fact into account. As for RadRain, I think that the drink is competitive on the market due to its high quality. I would say that it is a maximally comfortable brand for customers in terms of its volume, design, consistency and price. Our decision was to offer consumers high quality energy drinks at affordable prices. The price of RadRain is just GEL 1.
Q. You have spoken about two international brands that entered Georgia thanks to your company. Of course both of them needed a strong local partner in Georgia for operations, but what would you say about the Georgian market itself? How business-friendly, developed and trustworthy is the Georgian market for international investors?
A. The Georgian market is very favourable, especially for foreign investors. It is easy for them to start their business here. There are less barriers for them to face. However, the challenge is its size – the Georgian market-space is very small and it is hard to be positioned here. But customers are clever here, they know what a high quality product is and they are loyal to such products. This is proved by the sales statistics. Bavaria managed to take seven percent of the Georgian market share. With this number Georgia became one of the leaders in the world. It is a great success when a newly-entered brand takes seven percent of a local market share. And the Bavaria family is of course satisfied with these results. As for us, we faced a challenge when the excise tax for beer increased in 2015. As a result the market has decreased. We had direct communication with the Georgian Government to ease the excise duties for beer companies. The amendments in legislation are now ready to be approved by the Parliament and we are waiting for the final steps right now. The amendments include differentiating the excise tax according to the percentage of alcohol in the beer. I would wish to have more state programmes in Georgia that would support the export of Georgian goods abroad.
Q. This year, Georgian Beer Company started to increase its portfolio and expand its activities. Please tell us more about the new directions and how successfully they are developing?
A. We are well-known as a beer producer company. We are striving to contribute to developing local production in Georgia. We want to act as an example of how local production is strong in this country, and that Georgia can produce high quality production that is in demand worldwide. By developing local production, more job places will be created in Georgia. Furthermore, by developing this segment, other related segments will also be developed. For example, we decided to develop the natural juice segment in Georgia which will encourage local farmers to plant more fruit trees. In brief, I want to say that every link of the chain will be more motivated to develop further. We also want to help the country to replace import with export.
Q. Let’s further develop this topic and talk about how the Georgian Beer Company is conquering new markets and which export market is most successful for the company?
A. We have the ambition to enter more and more markets. By increasing the range of our portfolio we are able also to increase the share of export of our production. We are mainly represented in post Soviet Union countries, because it is easier for us to offer them our production. They know Georgia, they know our company and they know how Georgian products taste. So we face less barriers in these countries. Georgia’s neighbouring countries are also our targets because by exporting to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia the transportation fee is low and we sell our production cheaper there. We also export our products to Europe, the United States and Eastern countries. Georgian Beer production is exported to about 20 different countries already.
Q. Did you participate in any international exhibitions in 2016-2017 and how did such activities benefit Georgian Beer Company?
A. International exhibitions are very important. On the one hand we are introduced to the latest trends and recent developments in the industry and on the other hand we promote our production and country.
For example, an aseptic line in cold tea production is one of the trends that we brought to our company from the exhibition. This was an innovation that we brought to the Georgian market as we were the first ones to install an aseptic line.International exhibitions are very important because we can establish direct communication with our customers.