VIETNAM – In the wake of the arrest of a local gang producing fake Heineken and Tiger beer in Vietnam, Heineken says it is “absolutely on top” of the counterfeiting problems common in emerging markets.
The Vietnamese gang had been mixing genuine Heineken or Tiger beer with other cheaper domestic beers in a 50:50 ratio in the more expensive brands’ bottles to produce about 50 crates per day, without the use of any mechanical equipment, gloves or protective clothing, save for a capping machine. These counterfeit products were than delivered to retail outlets – reportedly restaurants and eateries – in the Tan Binh District of Ho Chi Minh City.
Assuring customers that the quality and integrity of its beer brands are of upmost importance to the brewer, Heineken financial communications manager John-Paul Schuirink said, “Although it typically concerns small volumes and all international brewers are confronted with counterfeit beers in emerging markets from time to time, we absolutely are on top of this issue.
“Our consumers deserve to enjoy a real Heineken beer when they buy or order on. We are working closely with the authorities and other brewers to fight these brand infringements.”
Vietnam Brewery Limited (VBL), the joint venture between Saigon Trading Group (SATRA) and Asia Pacific Breweries Limited (APB) which brews and distributes Heineken and Tiger in Vietnam, said that it has collaborated with the Ho Chi Minh City Economic Police and successfully stopped counterfeiting of all its products.
VBL stressed that its vigilant market control system enabled it to identify suspected counterfeit Heineken and Tiger bottles in the market, and tipped off the police who investigated the matter.
“We will continue to be vigilant in our market control system and do everything in our power, in cooperation with the Economic Police to stop counterfeiting in every corner of Vietnam,” said VBL managing director Leo Evers.
“I would like to confirm once again our commitment in fighting against counterfeiting by actively continuing to cooperate with relevant authorities.”