Saigon Export is currently the best-selling Vietnamese beer in the US and Canada
Heritage Beverage Company (“HB”) was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in San Jose, California. HB was the first to import its flagship Saigon Export beer and Saigon Special to the United States, with Saigon Export currently being the best-selling Vietnamese beer in the United States and Canada.
HB is a leading international gateway and exclusive distributor of heritage Vietnamese brands into the US market, and it is looking to expand its current brand portfolio with more heritage Vietnamese brands.
HB is the trademark owner of the Saigon Special label in the US, and holds its own Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) license in California, able to act as its own importer/distributor. In 2015, Saigon Asset Management (SAM), one of Vietnam’s premier investment management companies with a 10-year track record, acquired HB and brought in a management team to grow HB’s beverage portfolio. Currently, HB is jointly owned by Louis Nguyen and Kirk Nguyen. HB currently imports the Saigon Export brand of beer from SABECO brewery, the largest brewery in Vietnam based on both production volume and market cap. HB owns the trademark to Saigon Export beer brand in the USA and has an exclusive importing and distribution contract with SABECO covering North American territories. In 2017, HB imported approximately 30,000 cases (twenty-four 355ml bottles in a case) for California alone.
Since 1994, Sabeco has granted HB the exclusive rights and trademark for North America, resulting in a 23-year relationship. It is the 351st member of the Berlin Beer Academy, having been founded in 1875 by the French in Saigon, with a 2016 revenue of $1.35 billion. The factory officially became the Saigon Beer Company on September 14, 1993, and ThaiBev announced the majority buyout of Sabeco in late 2017. Throughout its 142-year history, has constructed 24 modern factories across the country. ISO 9001 – 2008, ISO 1400, ISO 22000, HACCP, and GMP certifications were all successfully applied.
HB is now expanding licensing beyond the traditional ‘Saigon’ label, including but not limited to t-shirts, openers, baseball caps, beer huggers, and various promotional items. As the owner of a brand, HB would like to find a capable licensee with a large North American distribution network to distribute one of its flagship products, Saigon Export.
Historically, HB relied on distributors in California; however, with the recent success and rising popularity of Vietnamese products, HB wishes to expand Saigon Export distribution to other lucrative markets in North America. HB anticipates that the prospective licensee will be completely committed to investing in the Saigon Export brand. This means that licensees will work hard to understand the brand’s essence and develop the Saigon Export product in a way that captures the brand’s essence in Vietnam and translates it to the North American market context.
The licensee should be able to make Saigon Export a desirable beer that connects with the consumer functionally (i.e. with Vietnamese food) as well as emotionally. Given the rising popularity of Vietnamese products in North America, success is almost guaranteed once the licensee demonstrates the ability to perform this critical phase.
They believe that the North American market for Saigon Export can support more than 100,000 cases per year. HB expects the licensee to meet or exceed the contract’s projected sales targets for the product. When all of these factors come together, the end result can be a flagship product that meets or exceeds annual sales and royalty projections.