Carlsberg Group has increased its investment plan in Ukraine, upgrading the production line at Kyiv Brewery to increase the yield capacity of canned goods by 80%. The move represents one of the company’s largest investment projects of the year.
Brands such as Lvivske, Carlsberg, Kronenbourg 1664, Arsenal, Kvas Taras, Somersby, Seth & Riley’s Garage, Staropramen, Miller Genuine Draft and Battery will be produced on the new production line, which has already been launched. Beer (alcoholic & non-alcoholic), cider, energy and soft drinks are key products being bottled.
“It (the production line) allows (the brewery) to produce up to 40,000 beverage cans per hour. This line will optimize operations and meet consumer demand for canned products,” Oleh Khaidakin, managing director, Carlsberg Ukraine tells Food Ingredients First.
Kyiv Brewery serves Ukrainian and foreign markets through exports of local power brands.
“Sales in the US have increased by more than five times since the beginning of 2023, and in European markets, they have increased from 1.5 to four times in different countries,” says Khaidakin.
“The company initially planned to install a new can line in its brewery in Zaporizhzhia (Eastern Ukraine), but after the start of the full-scale war, the strategy changed, and the new production line was installed at the Kyiv Brewery.”
Regaining market confidence
The investment signifies a global player showing enough faith in Ukraine to invest at a time when the country faces an epic struggle against Russian aggression. Carlsberg Group has confirmed investments of 1.5 billion hryvnias €40 million (US$44 million) for Ukraine this year.
“The company consistently ranks among the top 25 largest taxpayers and top 50 best employers in Ukraine, and these investments will help the company to continue supporting the national economy and communities,” Khaidakin explains.
“Filling products in cans will enable the company to address several issues. Carlsberg Ukraine increased its market share and actively developed exports of local power brands, which required more production capacity. Consumer preferences have changed, with more people opting for beverages in a can format.”
The capital investment plan for 2023 is even higher than in 2021. It includes a new production line and, for example, the purchase of various commercial equipment.
“The distinctive feature of this line is that it is built using state-of-the-art technologies, is fully automated, and meets the highest safety requirements for both the personnel operating it and the products manufactured on it,” he says.
For example, Frankfurt-based WeissBioTech has unveiled Deltabrew Lautermax and Deltabrew Attenumax as new tailored modules to its range of brewing enzymes. The enzyme solutions will equip brewers with the tools to address the latest needs in brewing.
Political diplomacy through investment
Denmark and Ukraine have close political ties, evidenced by this transaction. Carlsberg Group started operations in Ukraine in 1996 and has been one of the largest international investors in the FMCG sector. Carlsberg Ukraine has invested over €1 billion (US$1.1 billion).
This brewery supplies both retail and foodservice sectors. For example, Lvivske and Kvas Taras are exported to over 20 countries.
“What you are doing demonstrates that the struggle for Ukraine’s freedom is not only being fought on the battlefield. It is also being fought on the factory floor in the offices and the fields,” Ole Egberg Mikkelsen, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Denmark to Ukraine, told guests at the launch.
“Keeping the economic wheels turning is crucial for Ukraine’s resilience. You have always been caring for your employees and for the communities and the countries where you are operating. What you are doing in Ukraine is yet another example of this proud legacy,” Egberg Mikkelsen says.
Carlsberg Ukraine employs more than 1,300 people in breweries in Kyiv, Lviv, and Zaporizhzhia and creates over 20,000 jobs in related industries such as the hospitality sector, agriculture, logistics, and more. The majority of raw and packaging material suppliers are local.
“It (the investment) is a sign that an important global player and industry leader, Carlsberg, has faith in Ukraine and is ready to invest in Ukraine at a time when Ukraine’s epic struggle against Russian aggression is still ongoing,” Egberg Mikkelsen concludes.
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