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Popular fruit-flavored beer target foreign markets

2012/06/16 13:49:48

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) Locally brewed beer flavored with seasonal tropical fruits have sold "better-than-expected" recently, drawing attention from distributors overseas, according to Taiwan's state-run brewer.

The Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. (TTL) launched pineapple and mango beer in early April, and the two products have become so popular that "the supply was once unable to meet the demand," the company said.

In late May, the two types of beer took 6 percent of Taiwan's total fruity brewage market, which the company described as an "accomplishment," as there were hundreds of different brands on store shelves.

With the increasing popularity, TTL has raised its annual sales goal from three million dozens (21.6 million liters) to six million. The company expects to see its market share rise from some 5 percent to 10 percent.

It was not the first time the company had launched fruit-flavored beer. In 2011, it released white grape and lychee flavors under a different name, "Sweet Touch," but they were not as big a hit as the two tropical fruit flavors.

"Localization is the key," a sales director told CNA. "The flavors are something consumers are familiar with and really enjoy."

In the mean time, the company is developing other flavors, including orange and grape, which will not hit the local market until 2013.

Distributors in Singapore and China have also expressed interest in retailing the hot sales, the company said, adding that once the supply is sufficient and able to meet the local demand, the company will expand to overseas market.

To cope with the unexpected demand, TTL has doubled its productivity, expanded its juice procurement and secured a stable supply, the company said.

Beer in Taiwan was dominated by monopoly products until 2002, when free trade became law in the country. Taiwan Beer, brewed by TTL, remains the main domestic brand.

(By James Lee)