Non-alcoholic beer Heineken 0.0, which launched in January 2019, won a Growth Brands award this year for being a Top Sales Driver. We caught up with Meredith Kiss, Heineken brand manager at Heineken USA, to learn more about the brand.
WHAT PROMOTIONS AND ACTIVATIONS IN 2019 LED TO THE BRAND’S POPULARITY?
Going to market with two pack types offered consumers a choice and gave both distributors and retailers a reason to put cases on display. Placement next to Heineken Original on shelf also communicated to consumers that there was an innovative offering from the Heineken franchise.
We introduced ‘Bring Your Beer To Work Day’ (April 26th), a promotion that reunited Angela Kinsey and Brian Baumgartner (aka Angela and Kevin), two TV stars from The Office. The co-stars helped with the hype by passing out the alcohol-free brew to workers at an actual office. The stunt was an extension of the #NowYouCan launch campaign that centered on new and unexpected drinking occasions.
And as the official sponsor of the U.S. Open, Heineken tapped former tennis stars Andy Roddick and Lindsey Davenport to give consumers the “perfect serve”—on and off the court. Fans were invited to the Hudson River Park Tennis courts to try to return a serve from one of the all-star athletes and, if successful, were rewarded with a pair of tickets to the U.S. Open in New York.
Heineken 0.0 continues to support Major League Soccer with #CheersFromHome, a July promotion that offered consumers the chance to win a ‘Stadium in a Box’ experience in their own homes. Heineken 0.0 is also the official beer sponsor of the Tribeca Drive-In, a summer-long series of pop-up drive-in movies in New York and California.
WHAT PROMOTIONS AND MARKETING PLANS DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE FOR 2020?
We introduced the January Dry Pack— a limited-edition, 31-pack of Heineken 0.0 that served as a New Year’s resolution solution. The contents of the pack represent 31 alcohol-free Heineken 0.0’s, one for each dry day of January.
With the onset of COVID-19, Heineken launched a new global campaign, #SocializeResponsibly. The campaign keeps social- izing alive in a responsible, resourceful and creative way that reinforces current government guidance and regulations.
WHAT TRENDS HAVE AFFECTED THE BEER INDUSTRY IN THE PAST YEAR AND WHAT DO YOU SEE MOVING FORWARD?
The non-alcohol beer segment continues to grow globally. This trend has recently arrived in the U.S; we responded early with a premium product for consumers who appreciate beer taste and want a beer for occasions when they choose not to consume alcohol. Heineken 0.0 is not a substitute for beer with alcohol; it is an incremental opportunity for retailers and consumers.