Croats are turning more and more towards craft beer, and this summer many craft beer bars had TV’s showing the World Cup, contributing to beer sales.
As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 2nd of August, 2018, summer is typically the traditional time when brewers make most of their money because of the higher temperatures and the increase in beer consumption, and in Croatia, there is also a large inflow of foreign tourists contributing to increased sales.
This year, there was also an additional reason for the increased beer consumption, which came in the form of the World Cup, with the historic success of the Croatian football team shining brightly above all. The official data of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce says that during that month of proverbial football insanity, Croatia’s retail sales rose by 4.5% more than in the same period last year, while tourist establishments fiscalised 879 million kuna in turnover, which is 3% more than in the same period last year. While there’s been no comment from the largest Croatian brewery, Zagreb brewery (Zagrebačka pivovara) – Ožujsko pivo and Heineken, and Karlovačko on their numbers during the World Cup, other brewers say they experienced very welcome significant growth.
Carlsberg Croatia also enjoyed a football inspired sales high. Their main beer is the popular Pan, and they have stated that they are satisfied with their business results recorded during the first six months of 2018, and that Pan’s sales are higher than they were during the same period last year.
“We particularly welcome the growth of international brands, particularly the Belgian Grimbergen,” they say from Carlsberg. As far as football is concerned, they repeated that beer is always consumed when the good times roll around, resulting in a positive effect on sales. “We could say that in terms of sales, our expectations have come to fruition,” they say from the brewery.
Significant growth has also been recorded in the Daruvar breweries, whose director Siniša Lukač says that in the first six months of this year, there has been a 15% increase in production. “Our 5th Element craft beer sales are also growing steadily, with 30% growth in that period. Staročeško is also doing well, and its sales during the first half of 2018 increased by 25%. The World Cup has had a very positive effect on the sale of our products, but it isn’t the only factor that has affected positive results,” said Lukač.
This year, a big boom in Croatia has been being experienced by small breweries. Krešo Marić, the president of the Association of Small Independent Brewers of Croatia, pointed out that ”football fever” has also affected other types of breweries, too.
“Micro-breweries produce relatively modest amounts of beer, so it’s difficult to really talk about big sales growth for them during the World Cup. But the fact is that many craft beer bars opened their doors during times in which they hadn’t done so far, and also had TV screens showing football, so it’s enough to say that craft beer has become an integral part of the “Croatian football insanity”.
I haven’t got any precise figures at the minute, but I’m confident that the increased consumption of beer has been caused more by the success of the [Croatian national] football team than by the World Cup itself. This was especially evident in the last three “unexpected” matches played by the Croatian national team,” stated Marić.