Ljubljana, 31 July (STA) - Pivovarna Laško Union, the Slovenian subsidiary of the Dutch brewer Heineken, got the green light in July to start brewing and bottling non-alcoholic Heineken beer. The EUR 2 million investment will consolidate the Slovenian company's role as one of the major exporters within the Dutch group.
The first batch of zero-alcohol Heineken beer produced in Slovenia proved satisfactory in May, meeting all the global Heineken requirements. Regular production has been launched this month, the Slovenian brewer said in a press release.
Pivovarna Laško Union's director general Zooullis Mina highlighted the importance of this milestone for the brewery's development and business growth opportunities.
"The production of non-alcoholic Heineken beer in Slovenia is a sign of the Heineken group's trust and demonstrates that Pivovarna Laško Union has the necessary know-how, skills and technology for producing beer which meets the high quality standards," said Mina.
Taking into account Slovenia's strategic position within the Dutch group, the director also added that Pivovarna Laško Union planned to increase non-alcoholic beer production at the annual level to meet the growing demand in domestic and foreign markets.
The Slovenian company, known for its breweries in Laško and Ljubljana, has boosted its exports in the past three years, improving their product portfolio and penetrating new markets as part of the Heineken group.
Since July, Slovenian-produced non-alcoholic Heineken beer has been available in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. As of August, the brewery will start supplying it to Italy and Bulgaria as well, with Greece being the next target market.
According to Pivovarna Laško Union, the demand for zero-alcohol beverages is on the rise. As a socially responsible company, the brewery has been raising awareness about responsible drinking and expanding their portfolio of zero-alcohol drinks in line with their sustainable development strategy.