Machine slated for october launch in Paris and milan?

Heineken hints at 'revolutionary' high-end home beer appliance

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Marc Newson 'puts the finishing touches' on his design for Heineken (Picture Credit: Heineken)
Marc Newson 'puts the finishing touches' on his design for Heineken (Picture Credit: Heineken)
Heineken could be set to launch a high-end machine that serves beer after collaborating with industrial designer Marc Newson and finding consumers desire an ‘upscale’ at-home drinking experience.

Citing months of preparation, Heineken says it plans to introduce the new global concept next this October in Paris and Milan, and promises it will “revolutionize the at-home beer experience”.

Francois-Xavier Mahot, senior director of global innovation at Heineken, says: “We spotted the opportunity to create a premium but playful at home drinking experience for consumers.

“The success of products such as coffee machines shows the importance of developing an iconic high-end home appliance,” ​Mahot added.

“We collaborated with Marc to create a contemporary concept that was based on quality, technology and cutting-edge design,”​ he said.

Does beer suit at-home dispensing?

Newson has been named as one of Time Magazine’s ​100 Most Influential People in the World and clams he’s always admired the Heineken brand.

“We’ve started working on an exciting project which will be revealed later on this year, and are looking forward to seeing how consumers will embrace this innovation,”​ he said.

What do you the readers think of at-home beer dispensing? My take on this is that beer is less well-suited to a dispensing experience or technology than a beverage such as coffee, where the latter is (A) non-alcoholic and (B) drunk more regularly throughout the day (C) dispensed in lower volumes.

(D) coffee does not require refrigeration, and (E) systems such as Nestle’s Nespresso clearly offer consumers added convenience, whereas with beer, how hard is it to grab a bottle from the fridge?

At-home beer dispensers have been around for years. Take this one developed by Interbrew (now part of ABInBev) and Royal Philips Electronics in 2004, a system with a tap handle, internal cooling system, pump and 6-liter metal keg – seen here featuring the Jupiler and Stella Artois brands.

Perfect Draft

Taxes mean timing could be right…

Interbrew said it clearly identified a consumer need for draught beer in the home, and promised in 2004 that the PerfectDraft system – which is still sold by Philips – kept beer fresh and at the optimal temperature for up to four weeks. Such systems haven’t really caught on yet though, have they?

In short, such dedicated beer dispensing system strikes me as a little gimmicky, although the cost of beer in the on-trade due to tax rises in countries such as the UK and France could mean the time is ripe to launch such an at-home innovation.

That said, Heineken – which like Nestle could profit from machine sales – would need to work hard to ensure that consumables (i.e. the beer) have widespread distribution and offer consumers choice from its brand portfolio. So not just Heineken, but Sol, Desperados, etc. in addition to local brands.

That said, I’m jumping the gun in terms of what Heineken has in mind, so will await the launch of its concept next month.

Comments please!

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