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issue: October 2004 APPLIANCE Magazine

European Report
Home Beer Tap War in Europe


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By Paul Roggema, European correspondent, APPLIANCE magazine.

Leading European small appliance producers Philips and Krups (Groupe SEB) are battling against each other with a new product: the home beer tap.

It is a very interesting product: offer your consumer beer at a premium price, after they purchased a 200-euro (approx. $244) self-cooling beer tap, and customers flock to the stores in droves. Krups, together with Heineken, started it all by offering its BeerTender appliance, selling 500,000 4-L returnable beer kegs in a few months (sales volumes of the BeerTender appliance were not disclosed). The product features a CO2 intelligent pressure system that is said to help keep the beer fresh 3 weeks after opening.

Interestingly enough, France’s Groupe SEB is cooperating with Dutch Heineken, whereas Dutch Philips joined forces with Belgian brewer Interbrew, which, according to Philips is a “much bigger global player.”

Philips designed the appliance and keg together for optimum performance, which means that the appliance can only accept matching kegs. The company tried this method before with the ultra-successful Senseo single-serving coffee maker and the CoolSkin shaver, which uses a Nivea moisturizing lotion. In all cases, consumers seem to be convinced that the products deserved their considerably higher price point.

 

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