In an effort to focus on the development of Heineken’s emerging international brands, and their integration within the U.S. market, Heineken USA this month announced the creation of Five Points Trading Company.
The new venture, aimed at “incubating a range of popular global beers in the U.S.,” will assume importer responsibilities for the Red Stripe, Tiger, Birra Moretti, Affligem, Murphy’s, Prestige, Sagres and Mort Subite brands.
In a statement sent to Brewbound, a Heineken spokesperson said the new trading company would prioritize sales of the Red Stripe, Tiger and Birra Moretti brands in the U.S., while Heineken USA continued to focus on driving the growth of its core Heineken, Dos Equis, Tecate and Strongbow business.
Import contracts for the smaller brands were set to expire at the end of this year, Heineken said, prompting the creation of Five Points Trading Company and the decision to acquire the distribution rights from a variety of U.S. importing companies.
Total Beverage Solutions had been importing Affligem and Birra Moretti products, while United States Beverage had been importing the Tiger and Murphy’s brands. Saraiva Enterprises imported the Sagres brand to a handful of markets throughout the U.S.
Red Stripe, meanwhile, had been majority owned by Diageo until last year, when Heineken acquired a 57.9 percent stake in that brand’s parent company, Desnoes & Geddes. Prior to the transaction, Heineken already owned 15.5 percent of D&G, which trades on the Jamaica Stock Exchange as “Red Stripe Jamaica,” and Diageo paid City Brewing in Wisconsin to contract produce the popular Jamaican product for U.S. markets.
Five Points Trading Company will operate as a separate division out of Heineken USA’s headquarters in White Plains, NY, a spokesperson said. Importer transitions will be effective on January 1, 2017, Heineken said.
“Five Points Trading Company will provide a nexus for new thoughts, perspectives and cultural exploration, while tapping into the legacy and import expertise of Heineken USA,” Heineken GM Charles Littlefield said via a press release.