SINGAPORE March 2019
 
Heineken to invest on ‘zero alcohol’ positioning in response to growing health conscious trend
 
Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Singapore, in partnership with Economic Development Board (EDB) will be investing S$3.8 million (US$2.81 million) to install a de-alcoholiser at its brewery by the 3rd quarter of 2019. This will allow APB Singapore to produce the Heineken zero-alcohol brew, called Heineken 0.0, effectively becoming a supply hub for the Asia Pacific region.
The non-alcoholic brew was launched in 2017, which is now available in more than 50 markets globally. In Asia, the non-alcoholic brew is launched first in Singapore recently. Andy Hewson, Managing Director of APB Singapore said that the launch of Heineken 0.0 and the low and no-alcohol category was driven by key consumer trends of which consumers have become increasingly health conscious, while also leading busier lives which may not give them enough time to relax and unwind.
According to statistics by the company, there was a huge overlap between beer drinkers and consumers who drink soft drinks. This was amongst Singaporean beer drinkers aged 25 to 44 years old, and an estimated 73% also drink non-alcoholic beverages. Last year, Heineken recorded a 7% year-on-year volume growth globally, supported by sales of Heineken 0.0. This was said to be the highest growth rate the brand recorded in over a decade.
The low and no-alcohol category is currently “booming” in Europe and APB aims to replicate the success in Singapore and the region. It also looks to grow the total Heineken brand in Singapore by 5 to 10% year-on-year in the next 3 to 5 years.
The low and no-alcohol category is expected to outperform the other beer categories and is targeted at both men and women, above the legal drinking age, who enjoy the taste of beer but not necessarily the effects of alcohol. It is for people who are looking for healthier choices, people who do not drink alcohol and are looking for a credible and premium beverage alternative for a variety of drinking occasions.
There is strong growth potential for low and no-alcohol beer category in Singapore and in the region. APB will be rolling out Heineken 0.0 across all channels, not limited to traditional trade channels such as supermarkets, bars and clubs, but also the less conventional locations such as salad bars, gyms and offices.
“People are looking for high quality products. With Heineken 0.0, we want to give local consumers more choice for a variety of drinking occasions by offering them an all-natural, premium and great tasting beverage alternative,” Hewson said.
Heineken spent 2 years on research to create the optimal recipe to launch the zero-alcohol beer, which also contains low 69 calories.
Heineken is also hoping to repeat its success for Heineken 0.0 in Thailand which is now experiencing a declining beer market. It plans to launch Heineken 0.0 in Thailand in mid-March and will adopt similar ‘health conscious’ positioning in this market. Maud Meijboom-van Wel, Brand Development and Communication Director for Heineken said, “Non-alcoholic malt beverage is a category Thais may not be familiar with, given the market for malt drinks is very niche in Asia. However, the company has seen an upward trend in consumption of low-alcohol drinks.” She added that the new non-alcoholic malt beverage is also made with natural ingredients with no sugar.
 
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