San Miguel – beer and more!

The choices for beer brands, specially from smaller, independent craft breweries in California is dizzying.  According to the California Craft Brewers Association, as of 2012, there were 312 independently owned, craft breweries in our state alone!

Nationally, I’ve heard that there are now over 2,000 breweries in the U.S., producing 13,000 different labels of beer.


Beer brand choice was quite simple when I was growing up in the Philippines.

Beer was just beer, no need to say a brand name, simply because there was typically just one beer available for sale in the Philippines.  And that brand was San Miguel Beer.

San Miguel Beer was founded in 1890 as La Fabrica de Cerveza de San Miguel, a single-product brewery in the Philippines.

It is an iconic Philippine brand, and continues as the #1 beer brand in the Philippines, capturing over 95% of the beer market, and is the #1 brewery in Southeast Asia.

San Miguel has grown, and the brewery — the foundation of its business — is now a subsidiary of the vast San Miguel Corporation (SMC).  SMC is the largest food, beverage and packaging company in the Philippines, with over 100 facilities in the Philippines, China and Southeast Asia.

These days, the San Miguel Corporation’s products range from beer, hard liquor, juices, processed meats, poultry, dairy products, condiments, flour, coffee, animal feeds as well as packaging products.  Their “new business” seems far removed from their core beverage and food products, and are in the areas of:

  • Fuel & Oil
  • infrastructure
  • Power and Energy
  • Mining
  • Telecom
  • Banking

San Miguel was in my radar recently, when I read that the San Miguel Pure Foods Company’s (SMPFC) revenues hit an all time high in 2011.  Excerpt from San Miguel Corporation below:

San Miguel Pure Foods Company Inc. (SMPFC) registered all-time high revenues of P89.6 billion for 2011, up 13% from P79.3 billion in 2010 and driven by increased demand, aggressive distribution expansion, introduction of new products, and higher export sales.

Despite a significant increase in input costs, particularly in its agro-industrial cluster, income from operations increased 4% to P6.1 billion, with significant contributions from its value-added meats, dairy, flour, and coffee businesses.

Profits were boosted mainly by higher volumes, improved efficiencies, a good wheat position, a strong peso, and effective cost reduction across the entire group.

Net income rose to P4.2 billion, up 4% from P4.1 billion in 2010.

Nearly all of SMPFC’s businesses posted significant revenue growth due to higher volumes and favorable selling prices.

Its Value-added business chalked 5% growth in revenue, while its Feeds business posted an 8% revenue growth in commercial feeds.

Revenue growths were also seen across Magnolia Dairy, Magnolia Ice Cream and San Miguel Coffee, which benefited from wider distribution, brand-building initiatives and better selling prices.

For more on this topic, click on the article “SMC more than doubles revenues” from the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation.

Pure Foods was acquired by San Miguel Corporation in May, 2001.

The San Miguel Corporation is huge, and hugely successful…and definitely not the San Miguel known by our parents, or THIS lola (grandmother).

Living in the United States, do you still drink San Miguel — or are there just way too many other beer choices here?

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