Mercadona, a supermarket and on-line sales company, has strengthened its beer section by expanding its total number of national and international beer suppliers from 7 to 40, with the incorporation of numerous local craft beer suppliers, amongst others. The company decided to expand and specialise its beer selection in 2017 after noting that some of its customers found that some of their requirements were not satisfied by the company’s existing lines. It therefore began a process of co-innovation with more than 1,000 customers. This took more than a year of work and enabled the company to update this category, increase the quality of its basic beers (Suave, Clásica, Especial and Sabor a Sur), Cocktails and Alcohol-Free drinks, and provide specific solutions to specific needs through specialisation. This improvement work has also meant optimising the supply in the display and achieving a better adaptation to local needs, since the “Bosses” (the internal term Mercadona uses to refer to its customers) value the source and proximity of the product.
This commitment, coupled with the consolidation of more traditional varieties, in which quality has also been improved, has boosted the category and as a result increased its purchase volume. For example, over the last twelve months it has bought an extra 90 million litres of national beer, or 240 million in total. This volume has entailed, in tandem, an increase in purchases of raw material from the Spanish countryside by its suppliers, which, in the case of barley, has increased by 14 million kilos more than in 2017.
Mercadona, which currently works with 40 beer producers, has gone from working with six Spanish breweries and one French brewery, to twenty-eight Spanish brewers (Mahou, Heineken, Damm, Estrella Galicia, La Zaragozana, Compañía Cervecera de Canarias, Font Salem, Tyris, La Sagra, Arriaca, La Virgen, Birra & Blues, Alegría, Premium Beers, Gara, Mulhacén, Nazarí, Rosas, Alma Turdetana, Gaitanejo, Domus, La Salve, 15&30, Tibidabo, Barcelona Beer Company, Mica, Kadabra and Toro) and twelve international suppliers (Saint Omer, Martens, Birra Castello, Krombacher, Bavaria, Asahi, Société des Boissons du Maroc, Brasserie Licorne, Haacht, Marston’s, Frutapac and Gmodelo).
The addition in recent months of a new Andalusian supplier, 15&30, is a major achievement, as is that of two Catalan suppliers, Barcelona Beer Company and Cervezas Tibidabo, and two suppliers from Castile and León, Mica and Kadabra.
Mercadona Spanish beer suppliers.
Surprising “The Boss”
Through Mercadona’s Co-innovation Model and collaboration with Totaler Suppliers, new solutions and new flavours are now available, as well as different beer varieties: gluten free, radler 0’0, wheat, double malt, reserve, bitters, Pale Ale, IPA and craft beers. In addition, quality has been improved by looking for the best raw materials and using more natural and additive-free formulas.
The category's transformation means that the chain now stocks up to 70 different beers, a more complete, specialised and original assortment that customers appreciate.
Mercadona beer display.