Inauguration and signing new contract with importer part of royal trade mission
Brewery Huyghe, who is part of the Belgian delegation of the Royal Trade Mission to Canada, will be signing a new contract with their local import Mc Clelland Premium Imports next week. Together with their importer the brewer from Melle will also be opening an affiliate in Canada (Quebec), with the aim to grow substantially. The opening of an affiliate is a Belgian first.
The Canadian market certainly is not the easiest market to penetrate: each of the 10 provinces has its own import policy and in the case of Ontario and Quebec – the 2 largest and most densely populated provinces – this policy can even be called protectionist. While all locally brewed alcoholic beverages can be found in supermarkets and the catering industry, foreign alcoholic beverages on the contrary can only be bought in the so-called state-owned shops of the société d'alcool du Québec (SAQ). And even then the offer is very limited: especially in Quebec European brewers struggle to conquer a spot in the beer shelf that hardly measures 2 meters.
In order to overcome that problem brewery Huyghe has decided to open an affiliate in Quebec, in close collaboration with current importer Mc Clelland Premium Imports. This way Huyghe becomes 'local' and will get access to the entire market in the province. Huyghe is the first Belgian brewer that handles it this way. The aim is to grow the Canadian market substantially. Alain De Laet, CEO of the brewery, explains: “Today, Canada is our 4th largest export market. But the volume was created mainly in the other provinces, whereas the largest potential is situated in Quebec. By opening an affiliate and signing a new contract with our importer, we aim to double our current turnover to 1,600,000 Euro in 5 years time. Moreover, by acquiring a sales agent specifically for the Quebec market, we emphasize our ambitious plans. We want Delirium Tremens to grow further on this market, but at the same time we will also be introducing Averbode Abbey Beer." The signing of the new contract will take place on March, 16 in Montréal and is part of the Royal Trade Mission to Canada.
Also changes on the American market
And the brewery is also implementing some changes in the American market. Although the US still remains the 3rd largest export market (after France and China), the sales figures are nevertheless under pressure. And this is mainly due to the increasing number of local specialty brewers. In order to reverse this, the brewery has decided not to work with a local importer anymore, but rather organise the sales themselves. 20 sales representatives were hired to exclusively start selling Huyghe beers in the American market. Alain De Laet adds: “We still believe in the huge potential of the American market and we are convinced that the will be able to turn the downward into an upward curve."