At the end of October, Baltika dispatched its first shipment of beer to Central America. A container of Baltika № 5 Golden and Baltika № 7 Export beer in 0.5 litre bottles left the St. Petersburg seaport on its way to Puerto Barrios (Guatemala). The total volume of the first shipment came to 10,500 litres. Apart from Guatemala, Baltika beer will be sold in El Salvador and in Honduras. Baltika is the only Russian beer producer whose product is available in Central America.
Unlike Russia, the season for beer consumption in Central America begins in November. This is due to the climatic peculiarities of the region. It is precisely during this period of heightened demand that importers try to present new products to beer professionals and enthusiasts alike.
Baltika’s main competitors in Guatemala are the popular local brands — Gallo, Dorada Draft, Monte Carlo, Negro Modelo and Cabro. The Baltika varieties will be sold in retail stores and in supermarkets, including Cosco and Walmart. Beginning in 2009, there are plans to widen the assortment by adding Baltika № 3 Classic.
Elena Volgusheva, Sales Manager for the countries of North and South America at Baltika Breweries explained: ’The beer market of the countries of Central America is highly concentrated in a few companies. Local brands have very strong positions in the region. Moreover, in order to get the right to work on the market, you have to go through a complicated procedure of certifying the products and it is different for each separate country. Nonetheless, the high economic potential and growth in popularity of beer among the local population make this region attractive for us.’
The population of Guatemala is around 14 million. Per capita consumption of beer in this country is not high — around 10 litres per year, while in El Salvador and in Honduras the figure is around 13 litres. On average, per capita consumption of beer in the region is 48 litres per year (Canadean).
Baltika Breweries is the largest FMCG producer in Russia. Since 1996 it has been the leader on the Russian beer market. The Company comprises 11 breweries across all of Russia and one brewery abroad. There are more than 12,500 employees in Russia. Baltika Breweries is the leading exporter of Russian beer: Baltika products are sold in 50 countries around the world and the Company accounts for 70% of all export shipments of Russian beer. The Ministry of Economic Development of Russian Federation has awarded Baltika Breweries the title of ‘Best Russian Exporter’ for the seventh time in a row.