3 Ways Heineken USA Is Investing in Red Stripe

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Since Heineken USA acquired a controlling stake of Red Stripe Beer in 2015 and returned production back to the brand’s Jamaican homeland in 2016, the company has embarked on an aggressive 10-year investment plan dedicated to building Red Stripe’s position as a truly global brand.

Here's how the plan is expected to play out ...

1. New production line

In 2017, Red Stripe invested $16 million in a new state-of-the-art production line dedicated exclusively to export markets. The investment boosts Red Stripe's export production to 26,000 cases per day—more than 5 million cases per year—and allows for future expansion of the brewery up to twice its current capacity. The new high-tech line is powered by liquefied natural gas, significantly reducing the brewery’s fuel usage, which will result in a 6,000-ton annual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The long-term investment in Red Stripe is monumental," said Charles "Chas" Littlefield, general manager of Five Points Trading Co., the specialty-beer arm of Heineken USA, White Plains, N.Y. "In addition to greater capacity, Red Stripe’s investment will significantly improve service to its export markets and delivers on the brand’s commitment to making a positive environmental impact."

2. New Jobs

The plan also accounts for positive growth of U.S. and global volume demand to increase local raw materials sourcing. “Increased demand means hundreds of new jobs for Jamaican farmers and a boost to the Jamaican economy,” Littlefield said. “Although Heineken has a global footprint, it remains a family-owned company that is dedicated to supporting the local economies where its brands are brewed. Developing a plan that benefits Jamaica, its people and the environment over the long term was integral to the strategic planning process.”

3. New Sales

“The changes at the brewery will have a significant impact in the U.S. market,” said Andrew Anguin, senior marketing manager, Caribbean imports, for Five Points Trading Co. “We are gearing up for an aggressive 2018 hyperlocal growth plan in the U.S., concentrating efforts and resources against the greatest local market opportunities where current and high potential Red Stripe consumers live.

"The new high-tech production line in Jamaica guarantees we can consistently deliver the best-quality, freshest Red Stripe beer on a timely basis in the packs our consumers demand. This is critical to the future success of Red Stripe here and on the global stage.”

Jamaican-made Red Stripe is imported in the United States by Five Points Trading Co., Heineken USA's venture aimed at incubating a range of the company’s emerging global brands back in-house in the United States.