Sources of Competitive Advantage
Grolsch’s edge over its competitors relies on two main aspects, packaging and marketing. Its unique swingtop bottle gives the Grolsch brand an appealing and distinctive characteristic that distinguishes it from other premium beers. The swingtop allows for storage of the beer for later consumption as well as eliminates the need for a bottle opener. The brown domestic bottle contains over one-third more than the capacity of the average Dutch beer bottle, while the green export bottle is slightly larger. In 2008, the brewery introduced a slimmer design for both the domestic market and export. The new bottles can be opened by hand, using a lever at the side of the bottleneck. The label is applied over the lever in order to make any tampering evident. The top used to be made of porcelain, but is now made of plastic. Bottles with porcelain tops are still in circulation in the Netherlands. They are popular with home brewers, as they are very robust and can easily be sealed by hand without the expense of new crown seals. In North America, however, traditional metal-capped Grolsch bottles are becoming increasingly widespread. In 2007, Grolsch also started using green bottles for the home market. Grolsch was the first major brewery to stop using the brown refillable bottles that are used by nearly every brewery in the Netherlands. The new green bottles have the Grolsch logo marked in the glass and come in a new package. The label is placed higher at the neck of the bottle, and the bottles contain 10% more beer. Grolsch also acquired the “Royal” title in 1995, which added furthermore to the brand’s appeal. Grolsch also has an advantage in terms of taste and quality. Grolsch has a distinct, full-bodied and crisp taste that was developed over almost four centuries of crafted brewing tradition that follows German purity laws. Grolsch boasts a selection of the finest ingredients, the traditional ‘bottom fermentation’ brewing process and the...
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