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Budweiser Comes to Vietnam

Nguoi-Viet, Posted: Jun 17, 2008

ST. LOUIS Anheuser-Busch continues to expand into Asia, now launching Budweiser in Vietnam. The brewer has announced an import and distribution agreement with the Gannon Distribution Co., making Budweiser available in Vietnam starting this week, reports the Nguoi-Viet. Initially, Budweiser will be available in bottles and cans in upscale bars, restaurants and supermarkets in Saigon and in select chain outlets across Vietnam. ''Vietnams growing economy and large young adult population make it an ideal market for Budweiser,'' said Walter Blocker, chief executive officer of the Gannon Group Vietnam Ltd. Tom Santel, chief executive officer and president of Anheuser-Busch International Inc., called Vietnam ''an exciting beer market and an important one for Anheuser-Busch to begin establishing and building the Budweiser brand.'' He noted the country experienced double-digit volume growth for the past three years. ''We are always looking at new opportunities for our family of brands in markets throughout the world,'' Santel said. ''Vietnam is an emerging beer market that continues to grow.'' The Budweiser sold in Vietnam will be brewed and packaged at an Anheuser-Busch facility in Los Angeles. Anheuser-Busch holds a 48.5 percent share of the U.S. beer market. But that market has flattened in recent years, and the brewer has increasingly looked overseas for growth. In April 2007, Anheuser-Busch announced plans to double distribution in China, a move expanding Budweiser distribution to an additional 100 cities. The company noted at the time that China is the worlds fastest-growing beer market. Anheuser-Busch has a 27 percent share in Chinas Tsingtao, whose beer is the countrys best-selling premium beer. Also last year, Anheuser-Busch announced a joint venture with Crown Beers India Ltd., giving the company entry into the beer market in India. Under that agreement, Anheuser-Busch brews, markets and distributes Budweiser and other beers in India. Each company has a 50 percent ownership in the joint venture.

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