No Carnival this year means millions of euros in lost revenue for beer brewers


Normally, beer brewing giants, such as Heineken, AB InBev and Swinkels, would be looking forward to this time of year with millions of euros in revenue expected during the Carnival season.

Due to the pandemic, the festivities will not be going through this year causing a further dent in the income of beer brewers that have already had large setbacks since the pandemic began. Heineken recently announced it would cut over 8 thousand jobs worldwide in an attempt to reduce costs by 35 million euros per year.

Statistics Netherlands reported that Dutch Carnival attendees spend roughly 270 million euros during the celebratory period. Around half of that money is spent on beverages alone.

During Carnival season, between five to ten million liters of beer are typically consumed in the Netherlands. Beer brewers are hoping to still be able to tap into a part of their usual profit by collaborating with local initiatives in promoting at-home Carnival festivities.

The Limburg subsidiary of Heineken, Brand, is working together with a number of pubs to put together Carnival packages for house parties. “We are also working together with various associations, including in Venlo, where they go door-to-door”, a spokesperson of the company told

Swinkels is also aiming to retain at least a portion of their revenue. “It is a very important moment of the year”, a spokesperson said. “Therefore, we put together a campaign that looks different compared to other years.”

Part of their initiative is a Carnival press conference that will be recorded in the style of the press conferences the government regularly holds to inform citizens of the developments during the pandemic. A playlist and a ‘route planner’, which party-goers can use to make sure they are celebrating in accordance with social restrictions, are also part of the plan.

AB InBev is hoping to catch up on sales during the summer months. “We also see that some clubs have plans to do something with carnival come summer.”