Following the drop in sales seen in 2008, manufacturers expect this year to be better. Changes in consumer habits are also detectable in the HoReCa sector. – Sales in developing regions are expected to grow, while stagnation is foreseen in developed markets – says Éva Kiss, communications and PR manager of Heineken Hungária Zrt. The market shares of the three multinationals which dominate the Hungarian beer market (Borsodi, Dreher, Heineken) have remained stable for years. We could say that none of the leading breweries is taking any chances. Demand has increased noticeably in the cheap and the super premium segments, improving the positions of small importers. – We have launched successful innovations recently, including bottled Gösser Bock, Soproni Fekete Démon, Gösser Natur Zitrone and Soproni Szőke Ciklon intended for the HoReCa sector – says Éva Kiss. The so called David apparatus of Heineken is unique in the field of tapping technology, providing a closed and sterile system which requires no cleaning and maintenance, and guarantees high quality for 30 days from the opening of the barrel. – One of the major innovations launched by Dreher Sörgyárak Zrt last year was the Dreher 24 alcohol-free beer which has become a great success – says Mónika Agócs. Its secret is a special yeast which breaks down sugar with only a minimum quantity of alcohol produced during the process. Its alcohol content is below the 0,5% limit, but its taste is identical to that of traditional beer. – Borsodi Sörgyár Zrt was the first to introduce retrunable beer jugs at last year’s last summer festival – says dr. Ildikó Stefánkovits, legal and communications director. A shift is taking place from draught beer towards bottled beer, probably owing to the higher margin in bottled beer and also to the economic crisis hitting the draught segment harder. No major changes in flavour preferences took place last year, with specialities still accounting for only 5 percent of total sales. Lager beers are expected to continue dominating the market. Beer drinkers are also becoming increasingly fastidious. Demand for alcohol-free products is growing in the HoReCa segment. Fastidious consumers are becming increasingly open to flavoured beers, like those from Belgium. Promoting the professional drawing of beer is seen by all three breweries as their number one priority in supporting their HoReCa partners. All three companies operate training courses for the employees of their partners.