Oettinger brewery focuses increasingly on non-alcoholic drinks

Beer sales in Germany have been falling for years, the trend is towards alcohol-free products and greater health awareness


(dpa) Due to the difficult situation on the German beer market, the Oettinger brewery now wants to produce more soft drinks. By 2026, the share of non-alcoholic beverages is to account for around 40 percent of sales, announced the CEO, Stefan Blaschak. This is roughly double the current share.

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Oettinger will "change from a brewer to a beverage producer", said Blaschak, who took over the management of the family business in the summer, commenting on the new strategy. The export share is also set to increase from the current one third to around half of turnover during this period, as the company reported on Friday.

According to its own information, Oettinger is one of the largest beverage producers in Germany with a production of around eight million hectoliters. The brewery, founded in 1731, has around 800 employees. In addition to its headquarters in Oettingen, Swabia, it also has breweries in Mönchengladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia and Braunschweig in Lower Saxony.

Oettinger is known for its inexpensive beer. The company traditionally refrains from advertising and supplying the catering trade in order to save costs. There has been stagnation on the beer market for years,
explained Blaschak. "We believe that the zeitgeist is shifting a little."

German beer market has been shrinking for years

Breweries have been struggling with a shrinking beer market in Germany for years. According to the Federal Statistical Office, beer sales in Germany also fell in the first half of 2023 - by 2.9% compared to the same period last year. In contrast, the production of non-alcoholic beer has doubled within ten years.

However, Oetinger's old values should remain. "We say high quality at a fair price," said Blaschak. Oettinger also wants to consciously set itself apart from competitors advertised on television, for example, in the future. "We are certainly almost 60 percent cheaper than the fancy beers."

Last year, Oettinger sold the brewery in Gotha, Thuringia. After production there was initially to be closed due to the "negative development of sales volumes in the beer market", Paulaner from Munich finally took over the site at the turn of the year.

According to the last annual balance sheet published by Oettinger in the Federal Gazette, the company generated sales of just under 324 million euros and a loss of around 3.8 million euros in 2021.

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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