Taiwan Beer now comes in pineapple and mango flavors. (Photo/Huang Kuo-fong)
Newly introduced fruit-flavored beer products have sold better than expected in Taiwan of late, drawing attention from distributors overseas, according to Taiwan's state-run brewer.
The Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp launched pineapple and mango beer in early April and the two products have become so popular that supply was unable to meet demand at one point, the company said.
In late May, the two types of beer took 6% of Taiwan's total fruit-flavored brewing market, which the company described as an accomplishment, as there are hundreds of different brands on store shelves.
With the increasing popularity, TTL has raised its annual sales goal from three million dozens (21.6 million liters) to six million. The company expects to see its market share rise from some 5% to 10%.
This is not the first time the company has launched fruit-flavored beer. In 2011, it released white grape and lychee flavors under a different name, "Sweet Touch," but they were not as big a hit as the two tropical fruit flavors.
"Localization is the key," a sales director said. "The flavors are something consumers are familiar with and really enjoy."
In the meantime, the company is developing other flavors, including orange and grape, which will not hit the local market until 2013.
Distributors in Singapore and China have also expressed interest in retailing the products, the company said, adding that once the supply is sufficient and able to meet local demand, the company will expand to the overseas market.
To cope with the unexpected demand, TTL has doubled its output, expanded its juice procurement and secured a stable supply, the company said.
Beer in Taiwan was dominated by monopoly products until 2002, when free trade became law in the country. Yet Taiwan Beer, brewed by TTL, remains the main domestic brand.