Gratifying jump in volume means all-time high - Brand popularity decisive factor for dynamic growth: Veltins output increases by 8.4%

  • Private brewery grows significantly faster than the market
  • Consumer favourite: Pülleken grows by 25.5
  • Keg beer business has picked up again
  • "Business at the counter" is part of the brand DNA
Veltins output increases by 8.4%
© C. & A. VELTINS GmbH & Co. KG
Source:  Company news

The brewery C. & A. Veltins, Meschede-Grevenstein, continues its growth course. While the national beer market grew by 3.2% in the year to November 2022, the traditional company developed at a greater pace and achieved an output of 3.36 million hl (+8.4%). "In every crisis lies an opportunity - we took advantage of it with the best volume gain in the brewery's history," said chief representative Michael Huber when presenting the annual figures. Although procurement costs had risen enormously in the meantime, consumer demand on the market side proved to be extremely robust, so that the turnover development also moved dynamically forward with 419 million euros (+15.7%). "People had a real appetite for beer again. Accordingly, the draught beer business took off completely in the summer and is now only 18% below pre-pandemic levels," Dr. Volker Kuhl, Managing Director Marketing/Sales, summed up. "Despite market risks, there is no reason for an economically stable company to be pessimistic," said Michael Huber: "As a medium-sized company, we know that in difficult times it is not lamentation that helps, but new ideas and a strong grip!" With an unusually high degree of personnel continuity in the brewing industry, the traditional company stands like a rock in the eyes of the trade and gastronomy. The Veltins brand mix is precisely tailored to the greatest variety needs of the market and is attractive to consumers.

Brewery grows by one million hectolitres since the turn of the millennium
Thanks to its dynamic market performance, the C. & A. Veltins brewery was able to take advantage of the tailwind of the pandemic years and finish well above market and competitive levels. Within the three crisis years, the C. & A. Veltins brewery was able to grow by a respectable 10%. Since the turn of the millennium, output has increased by about one million hl (+42%). "Our early adjustment of strategy and the targeted diversification of the product portfolio have dropped solid anchors in the beer market," says Veltins General Manager Michael Huber.

Over the past two decades, the company has thus succeeded in continuously expanding its range of varieties in line with consumer demands. In the year before its 200th anniversary, the traditional company from the Sauerland region has all the products relevant to the market, around 80% of which correspond to the variety preferences of consumers. While the bottled beer business declined for all producers in the trade, the Veltins brand was able to maintain the growth of recent years and achieve an output of 1.77 million hl (+0.1%). The can grew by +7.4% in the face of growing demand. With the Veltins complementary varieties, a further 115,800 hl were achieved.

Pülleken stands for a good attitude to life and quality enjoyment
According to the private brewery's assessment, consumers continue to want reliable and traditional brands with regional appeal that give them a good attitude to life and quality enjoyment in uncertain times. The still young brand helles Pülleken, for example, grew by 25.5% to 256,000 hl. While beer specialities still achieved veritable growth in the pandemic years, because consumers were more willing to try and buy more valuable beers for home consumption, there was, as expected, a trend reversal in 2022. The Grevensteiner brand was unable to escape this, but still contributed 204,800 hl to the total output (-11.9%). After eight years of brand presence, the Grevensteiner trio is available in 20,500 outlets and thus has extensive national coverage. In addition, the V+ brand contributed another 290,600 hl to the output result and was able to participate in the resurgence of the event business.

Gastronomy is back - draught beer business has picked up again
The traditional Sauerland company is satisfied with its draught beer business in the pandemic that is coming to an end. "Gastronomy is back! The sociable enjoyment of beer continues to have the character of a recommendation and thus contributes significantly to the appreciation of a premium brand," sums up Dr. Volker Kuhl, Veltins Managing Director Marketing/Sales. "Our commitment to the expansion and cultivation of the gastronomy is an elementary component of our sales philosophy." After all, the traditional brand now has 14,100 associated businesses, making it one of the major brewery partners in the national gastronomy sector. Even as the pandemic was coming to an end, the brewery succeeded in bringing back important impulses for the draught beer business, which had been in decline for two years. With a keg beer increase of 76.7% to 443,800 hl, the traditional company has returned to the proven performance of its traditional core business. The course has already been set for strengthening the gastronomic commitment with undiminished investment power.

Despite the structural changes in the gastronomy sector, the C. & A. Veltins brewery forecasts the future viability of the draught beer business and thus a stable sales pillar. With a high proportion of draught beer, the family-owned brewery continues to be one of the distinctly gastronomy-oriented breweries. Dr Volker Kuhl: "Our 'business at the bar' is considered an indispensable part of the Veltins brand DNA."

"Understandable consumer longing for light-heartedness"
After the end of the pandemic and the economic turbulence of the crisis year 2022, the path to full recovery of this traditional distribution channel will certainly take longer than was to be expected. According to the company's assessment, a veritable combination of the acquisition of new customers and the retention of existing customers will result in a customer universe that continues to be rich in prospects, which will perpetuate successful gastronomy concepts and take up new impulses. Dr. Volker Kuhl: "One thing crises can never take away from people: The understandable consumer longing for light-heartedness." With its brand mix, Veltins is pursuing a solid, value-oriented premium strategy in both gastronomy and retail, which it believes is being implemented with a high degree of expert continuity and a steady hand. Partners in trade and gastronomy appreciated this reliability in the 2022 business year as well. The continuous development of a non-alcoholic, but definitely differentiating product segment should also bear fruit in the past business year. Veltins Fassbrause, with its consumer-accepted taste spectrum, was further strengthened by the Bitter Lemon variety and thus contributed 83,800 hl (+15.3%) to the output.

Reusable share of 92.5% above industry level
"We were able to maintain a rock-solid profitability even during the past three years of crisis, but we are always prepared to cut back in this difficult market phase," noted Veltins general manager Michael Huber. For this reason alone, the C. & A. Veltins brewery still sees itself in a stable and profitable position in view of the recent growth development. The investments are going according to plan, so that the first of two new bottling plants was already connected to the grid in the summer. By the anniversary year 2024, Veltins will have completed and finished the new bottling centre for bottled beer at a cost of around 100 million euros. Reusable is still a central theme of resource conservation at the C. & A. Veltins brewery because there is a clear consumer desire for it. While the industry average for the use of reusable bottles and crates in the beer product group is around 80% throughout Germany, the family-owned company is traditionally far above this with a reusable share of 92.5%.

Rethinking energy supply already underway
After the completion of the major investment in the Grevenstein headquarters, new investments are on the horizon. The C. & A. Veltins brewery has initiated a turnaround in the energy supply of its traditional plant in Grevenstein and has already set the course for an overall strategy. "We definitely have to become more independent when it comes to energy," says Veltins' general manager, setting the course for the next few years. The goal is to switch to a climate-neutral system that can be used in the long term and is economical. Although energy consumption has already been reduced through optimisations, the development of further reduction and recovery potential is indispensable for a successful energy transition. A corresponding transformation concept is to be initiated in 2023. It is already clear: the energy supply around the entire brewing and production process must be converted in parts so that the sustainable energy can also be used economically. At the end of the conversion process, the internal energy supply will be based 100% on renewable energies, taking advantage of all recovery potentials.

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