Because of 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 drinks should make up around 40 percent of sales, announced the chairman of the management, Stefan Blaschak. This is approximately double the current share.
Oettinger is changing “from a beer brewer to a beverage manufacturer,” said Blaschak, who took over management of the family business in the summer, about the new strategy. The export share is also expected to increase from the current one-third to around half of sales during the period, as the company reported on Friday.
According to its own information, Oettinger is one of the largest beverage manufacturers in Germany with a production of around eight million hectoliters. The brewery, founded in 1731, has around 800 employees. In addition to the headquarters in Oettingen, Swabia, they are also employed in breweries in Mönchengladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia and in Braunschweig in Lower Saxony.
Oettinger is known for cheap beer. The company traditionally avoids advertising and catering deliveries in order to save costs. There has been stagnation on the beer market for years, explained Blaschak. "We believe that the zeitgeist is shifting somewhat."
The 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 this country also fell in the first half of 2023 - by 2.9 percent compared to the same period last year. The production of non-alcoholic beer, on the other hand, has doubled within ten years.
But Oettinger's old values should remain. “We say high quality at a fair price,” said Blaschak. In the future, too, Oettinger consciously wants to stand out from competitors advertised on television, for example. “We are certainly almost 60 percent cheaper than the Schickimicki beers.”
Last year, Oettinger separated from the brewery in Gotha, Thuringia. After production there was initially supposed to be closed due to the "negative development of sales volume in the beer market", Paulaner from Munich finally took over the location 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 almost 324 million euros and a loss of around 3.8 million euros in 2021.