Pivovarna Laško Union (PLU) is the largest manufacturer of beverages in Slovenia, and employs over 600 people. The company, 100% owned by the Dutch international brewer Heineken, was created in 2016 with the merger of Pivovarna Laško and Pivovarna Union, thus inheriting nearly 200 years of Slovenian brewing tradition. This is the heritage that our staff at Pivovarna Laško Union continue to build on to this day. With two manufacturing plants in Ljubljana and Laško, PLU is the leading brewer and a highly competitive producer of cider and refreshing soft drinks in Slovenia. Within the Heineken Group, Slovenia occupies a rather strategic position, as Pivovarna Laško Union constitutes an important regional export hub.
The company is development oriented and promotes the use of first-grade natural ingredients, as well as continuous improvements and innovation. Bound by business, technological, marketing and communication excellence we introduce new approaches in various fields, i.e. from the introduction of new drink categories, new varieties of beer and soft drinks, to renewed packaging, online sales, as well as development and application of new technologies for draught beer. By supplementing our offer, we respond to social and market trends, we fulfil consumers' wishes and follow the strategic goal, i.e. that our products occupy the first or strong second position in their respective market segment.
We appreciate tradition, while bringing freshness into our brand and product portfolios. From 2016 to 2018 we introduced over 60 new products from our own brands and HEINEKEN brands, and the majority of these products remain present in the market. The cornerstones of our offer are embodied by the renowned Slovenian beer brands Zlatorog and Union Svetlo which reflect our passion for quality and have been bringing pleasure and joy into the lives of our consumers. Union has upgraded its offer with Radler, a mixture of beer and juice, while Laško introduced the alcohol-free Malt. Jabolčni tat is our main product in the cider product category. We expanded our portfolio with Heineken beer and its alcohol-free version Heineken 0.0, as well as other brands, produced globally by the countless breweries from Heineken Group. With the Izbira 0.0% (Select 0.0%) range of beverages, we expanded our range of beer and Radler with products with a lower content of alcohol or completely alcohol-free. These drinks inspire with their flavours, and they are an excellent choice for each and every social and responsible event. Our wide range of beer products is accompanied by refreshing soft drinks from the Sola product line, and Zala spring water product line.
Pivovarna Laško Union wishes to leave a positive footprint on its markets. A special place in our strategy and operations is reserved for sustainable development and giving back to society. We respect the people and the planet, which is why the implementation of our "Brewing a Better Future" in six key areas of sustainable development within our company contributes to the implementation of six Sustainable Development Goals, developed by the United Nations. Our involvement in the local Slovenian community is also reflected in our role as the largest sponsor of Slovenian sports, and a significant supporter and sponsor of important cultural and social events.
All of the above reflects our strong corporate culture. We at Pivovarna Laško Union create good stories, and brew a better Slovenia.