December 19 2017  |  Spirits & Tobacco

HEINEKEN introduces a new countertop draught system in global duty free

By Jas Ryat

BLADE by HEINEKEN is a free-standing countertop draught system that delivers brewery quality draught beer

In a market where space is at a premium, HEINEKEN global duty free introduced its new countertop draught system, blade, and the global duty free launch of Heineken 0.0%.

The launch of Heineken 0.0% in travel retail, a non-alcoholic lager, brewed with a recipe for a distinct balanced taste, enables consumers to enjoy a HEINEKEN beer at any time of day. The HEINKEN Master Brewers used their know how to brew zero alcohol beer using natural ingredients. Heineken 0.0% is double brewed while the alcohol is removed and blended with natural flavors. The result is a 0.0% beer brewed “for beer lovers, by beer lovers”, and offers a balanced taste with fruity notes and soft malty body.

Koos Vrijlandt, Global Duty Free Account Manager for Heineken, is optimistic about about the brand meeting consumer demands

Koos Vrijlandt, Global Duty Free Account Manager for HEINEKEN, explained, “Global Duty Free industry growth depends on all parties fully understanding and delivering consumer demands. Heineken 0.0% is our response to increasing consumer trends for new, lighter alcohol free options. Just removing the alcohol from regular 5% HEINEKEN would have been easy; but that approach wouldn’t deliver the world’s best tasting non-alcoholic beer. So we pushed the innovation boundaries, challenging our brewers to craft a perfectly balanced non-alcoholic lager that fully expresses the skills, heritage and authenticity of the HEINEKEN brand."

BLADE – a versatile countertop draught system

Based on the success of BREWLOCK, an innovation in draught systems, HEINEKEN has developed BLADE with a wider range of operational benefits. BLADE is a free-standing, compact and versatile countertop draught system with simple plug and play installation, minimal cleaning and almost no maintenance. Like BREWLOCK, it delivers draught beer at brewery quality.

Aesthetically pleasing on any bar, the illuminated, transparent Heineken branded dome houses the recyclable PET kegs (8 litres) of brewery fresh draught beer. The beer is kept at an ideal temperature of 2°C, guaranteeing its quality and freshness up to 30 days from the opening of the stem. The smart air compression system does not require any CO2 or other additives.

This ‘plug and play’ system brings a draught beer facility to locations with space challenges and also enables greater consumer choice thanks to instant brand rotation. BLADE is available with Heineken in global duty free, with a wider range of premium beers from the HEINEKEN portfolio available in 2018, including Affligem, Tiger, Birra Moretti, Strongbow Gold.

Vrijlandt explained, “With BREWLOCK distribution on over 100 ships, BLADE is the evolution of this game-changing technology, revolutionising the availability and mobility of premium draft options from our extensive portfolio in any location, creating new, flexible opportunities for our customers to maximise key yield and operational effectiveness. With a counter-top footprint of just 29cm square – that’s the depth of a sheet of A4 paper - BLADE is especially effective in optimising space in smaller outlets and for those currently limited to bottle only menus.”

BLADE and BREWLOCK systems continue to expand their global presence, mainly in the cruise sector, and the portfolio of premium draft beers offered with the system has been expanded to include Heineken Light together with Heineken, Newcastle Brown Ale, and Strongbow GOLD apple cider.

BREWLOCK, launched in 2016, offers a keg system 25% lighter than regular draught systems and is 100% disposable, creating logistical, quality and cost benefits. The award-winning system is now operational on around 100 cruise ships and ferries across the globe and has inspired the new BLADE system.

Cheers to portfolio expansion in global duty free

HEINEKEN acquired the remaining stake in the free spirited Lagunitas brand this year, which launched in California in 1993 and is now seeking to expand the brand’s global distribution, including Global Duty Free. Lagunitas is the fourth largest craft brewery in the US, with over twenty beers across several styles, including Sours, Wheats, Pils and Whiskey barrel aged stout. Lagunitas has an important position in the craft market, where IPA is the most popular category, with Lagunitas IPA leading the US category.

Following the majority-holding acquisition of Red Stripe in late 2015, HEINEKEN has accelerated its distribution in the Cruise sector. Its popularity with global travelers is based on the discovery of this beer from Jamaica, established in 1928 and winner of 11 gold monde awards for quality and taste and its proud roots in downtown Kingston.

The HEINEKEN global duty free team continues to expand their portfolio by giving providing consumers with a wide range of tastes from around the globe

Lagunitas and Red Stripe joins a unique portfolio of premium, crafted beers from across the world, enabling HEINEKEN to provide consumers with a range of taste experiences and authentic brand stories that help drive conversion.

The HEINEKEN global duty free team are developing ideas for an innovative range of duty free activities that will leverage the partnerships with UEFA Champions League and F1, building further on a series of creative campaigns.

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