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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Beer deal could give Budweiser a boost

Packs of Budweiser and Bud Light are offered for sale in Chicago, Illinois in 2014. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP
Packs of Budweiser and Bud Light are offered for sale in Chicago, Illinois in 2014. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

Beer deal could give Budweiser a boost

Food and beverage distributor Attwood Import Export is building up its stocks of Budweiser after inking an agreement with global beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) earlier this month to be exclusive local distributor of the emblematic American beer, a company executive said yesterday.

Tan Ser Chhay, Attwood’s CEO, said his company has already begun supplying Budweiser beer to the local market after clinching the distribution deal earlier this month. This is the second exclusive rights deal the company has made with AB InBev, a firm controlling a 25 percent share of the global brewing market, after reaching an agreement for the distribution of Corona beer in September of last year.

Chhay said he expects Budweiser to become a very popular product in Cambodia, despite facing increasing competition from other premium beer distributors.

“It’s going to be big,” he said of the import quantity, while not wanting to reveal its actual size to his competitors, explaining, “Angkor is bringing in Asahi from Japan and Heineken is also stepping up its distribution in Cambodia.”

The market for Budweiser consumption should be evenly split between locals and expats, Chhay said, noting that due to its global brand recognition, the beer should gain a sizeable market share in the country.

“The Budweiser brand speaks for itself and it is known not only here, but also around the world,” he said.

“We have the resources at Attwood to successfully distribute and market the brand in Cambodia.”

Despite its global reach, Budweiser still has been slow to penetrate the Cambodian market, though it has been available for sale until now through imports by the Anco Group.

As a whole, international beer brands cannot match the consumption levels of local beers such as Angkor or Cambodia, said Menh Vuthisokunna, research manager at market research firm TNS Cambodia.

“American brands are not very popular yet and they are not very well known,” she said.

“Overall, market trends show beer consumption is on the rise and people are starting to drink beer at events and celebrations, so there is a big potential for growth.”

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