Optimize Crate Availability – Dutch Brewers Association



Company Name / Department Dutch Brewers Association
Contact Person Eric Veldwiesch, Marco Willemars
 Location Online, field work
Housing arranged by company No
Internship compensation  160 euro per month (based on a 18h week. If you work more hours, it’ll be higher)
Study program
ESCF community CDT
Start date February, 2024


Company Description

    The Dutch Brewers Association (Nederlandse Brouwers) is the branch organization for the biggest 14 brewers of the Netherlands. Together they produce 95% of all the beer for the Dutch market. Our most well-known members are Heineken, AbInbev, Grolsch and Swinkels Family Brewers, but also large MKB-companies like Gulpener, are members.

    In the way to become a fully sustainable and circular sector, we are working together on sustainability topics of which circular packaging is an industry best practice. Together we run a system of refillable/ reusable glass bottles, the most sustainable packaging for the retail market.


    Project Description

    Project description:


    The Dutch beer market has a long tradition of circular supply chain cooperation. Since the introduction in 1985, brewers are sharing a commonly managed reusable bottle, the “BNR30cl”, with a capability of 40 reuses in its lifetime. As a result, the bottle return chain has been simple, effective and very sustainable. A packaging best practice to be proud of.

    From 2005, brewers have drifted away from the standard bottle and have introduced individually branded bottles. Additionally the grown popularity of specialty beers, has increased the number of specialty beer bottles in the market.

    Problem description

    Around 75-80% of the bottles sold to the consumer via the supermarkets are sold and returned in (mostly branded) crates. The remaining 20-25% are sold in packs (4/6/…) or loose. Most of these bottles are returned to supermarket stores, in return vending machines (RVM’s). The challenge is to define the right amount of empty crates than every individual supermarket needs to have in stock, to be able to sort the returning bottles.

    Goals of the project:

    The objective of this project is to determine a ‘pocket safety stock’ by bottle type for each supermarket in scope.


    A model that based on RVM return data and supermarket characteristics (region, type, size, ..), gives a clear recommendation as to the amount of crates required by bottle type. The model will be reviewed on a quarterly / yearly base.

    Essential student knowledge:

    FMCG, supply chain processes, affinity with retail store/DC processes, strong analytical (excel) and project management skills.






      More information: escf@tue.nl  


      Dutch Brewers Association
      Dutch Brewers Association