Its pledge will be powered by alcohol-free Heineken 0.0: which the copmany says will continue to be ‘an integral part of Heineken’.
In 2020, Heineken 0.0 grew ‘strong double digits’: against flat volumes for brand Heineken (0.4%) and an 8.1% decline for the overall beer portfolio in the pandemic year. In Brazil, Mexico and the US in particular, the brand had an ‘outstanding performance’.
The 0.0 brand has continued strong performance into Q1 2021: reporting double digit growth. The brand is now available in 94 markets globally.
While Heineken 0.0 is the driver of the company’s zero-alcohol offer, the company pledges to have two zero options in most markets. Its portfolio currently contains 130 non-alcohol line extensions: with the company promising more innovation in this area.
“The zero alcohol category is an important business driver for our company and we continue to shape and scale the category through our portfolio approach," says the company.
"The consumer landscape is changing as people seek healthier and more natural non-alcoholic beverages. We want to make non-alcoholic beers available everywhere, and always.
"We offer consumers on all continents a wide range of zero alcohol beers, radlers, malt, malt based energy drinks and brewed soft drinks.”
Looking across the wider low- and no-alcohol portfolio, Heineken has 356 line extensions across 125 brands.
In 2020, low- and no-alcohol options made up 6.2% of Heineken’s total global volume: still a small percentage, but a chunk for a company that has been focused on alcoholic beer for some 150 years.
“We will continue to invest in innovations across its low and non-alcoholic portfolio to make it increasingly easier for consumers to reach for a low or non-alcoholic option depending on their preference and the occasion,” says the company.
Three Heineken innovations in zero alcohol
Heineken 0.0 was launched in Europe in 2017 and has since rolled out globally to 94 markets, including the US in 2019. Last year, Heineken switched its sponsorship of The UEFA Europa League from Amstel to Heineken 0.0: 'representing the largest ever single-sponsorship deal involving a non-alcoholic beer brand and providing a powerful platform for encouraging responsible drinking and giving consumres a choice'.
Desperados Virgin 0.0% launched in France in 2020, and is now available in the Netherlands, Poland and Belgium with additional markets to follow this year. The drink 'is the latest wild experimentation by Desperados which pushes the boundaries of alcohol-free innovation, driving double digit penetration growth for the brand and recruiting new consumers into the non-alcoholic segment.
Lagunitas’ new IPNA is brewed using traditional IPA hops - Mosaic, Citra and Columbus - and uses Canada-grown barley and crystal malt. Rather than using de-alcoholising methods to remove alcohol, Lagunitas removes yeast from the batches during fermentation. This allows for new and exciting tastes to develop without natural alcohol being produced. It launched in the US in December.