Here is an interesting article which shows the macro-economic factors affecting Heineken's sales and its strategy to react to them:
Europeans also are increasingly favoring wine over beer, with the U.K. set to become Europe's biggest wine market by 2008, according to a study commissioned by Vinexpo, a wine trade-fair organizer based in Bordeaux, France. As European beer markets slow because of aging populations and sluggish economies, brewers such as Heineken are expanding in Russia and Asia in search of sales growth. Beer consumption will rise an average 4.8 percent a year in Russia and 4.2 percent in China through 2009, Merrill Lynch & Co. predicted last month. Indeed, Heineken may dominate acquisition activity in the global beer industry this year as it strives to gain a greater presence in emerging markets, Lehman Brothers predicted. The enterprise value of transactions in the brewing industry rose to a record $14 billion in 2004, according to Lehman's estimates.The weather in Florida, the price of the euro against the US dollar and the Irish smoking ban in pubs are also cited as critical factors in shift in beer sales.