Indonesia’s one and only publicly-listed local brewer, PT Multi Bintang Indonesia has shipped its 1st batch of its iconic Bintang beer to the US in August.
The company already exported its flagship beer to the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea and Australia. “We are proud to announce that Bintang beer, which has always been crafted by the leading experts in Indonesia, will be available on 4 continents,” said Multi Bintang President Director Michael Chin.
Plans for market expansion to the US had already been in the pipeline ever since the company gauged the popularity of Bintang beer among foreign tourists, particularly surfers who visit Indonesia for its picturesque beaches and challenging waves, he added.
"Thanks to our distinctive recipe, (American) tourists consider Bintang beer to be an essential companion of their adventures in Indonesia. They will certainly be pleased to know that their favorite beer will soon be available in their homeland," added Michael.
Despite the excitement over the market expansion, the company is still secretive on its initial volume and sales target for its beer in the US market. According to Michael, the most important aspect is brand building and the company is not planning to make any adjustments to its Bintang beer recipe or flavor when it hits the American retail shelves.
The US beer market is huge but extremely fragmented and competitive with multiple heavyweights like Budweiser, Guinness and Corona already building strong presence there. Michael mentioned that Multi Bintang will initially focus on distribution in Southern California and Hawaii, working with premium supermarkets and Asian-American restaurants to include Bintang Beer in their menus. Southern California is also home to a strong surfer community whom already aware of Bintang beer.
Indonesia’s Acting Agro Industry Director General, Achmad Sigit Dwiwahjono said, “In 2017, Indonesia’s alcoholic beverage exports totaled US$7.6 million. In Southeast Asia, Indonesian beer products compete with those from Vietnam and Thailand. Despite our Muslim-majority demographic, our beer industry still compares favorably with our neighbors in the region."
In 2017, Multi Bintang posted Rp1.32 trillion (US$90.2 million) in net profit, a 34.8% growth year-on-year, thanks to improved revenue management and cost-efficiency measures. The sales composition of its alcohol and non-alcoholic products was Rp3.04 trillion (US$207.73 million) and Rp 340.21 billion (US$23.25 million) respectively.