New extra refreshing premium lager to help retailers unlock £315m value opportunity with biggest innovation in European drinks industry this decade

HEINEKEN is set to reinvigorate the lager category for Gen Y and Gen Z drinkers with the launch of Heineken® Silver, the biggest innovation in the European drinks industry this decade.

An extra-refreshing lager at 4% ABV, Heineken® Silver is made using an ice-cold brewing process at -1°C for a crisp flavour and subtle finish, with a low bitterness of 10 IBUS (International Bitterness Units) offering a lighter drinking profile. Heineken® Silver will deliver a premium offering and a more accessible taste that will drive appeal and sales among younger adult drinkers.

Heineken® Silver has been launched in response to changing drinker demands and needs. While the lager category has grown +34% since 2019, sales among Gen Z and Y drinkers has declined by 2% and penetration amongst 18-to-24-year-olds has halved over the last seven years. Younger adult consumers are now looking for more subtle, refreshing and accessible beers to suit their tastes.

Heineken® Silver has been crafted to meet this need, ensuring retailers have a premium beer that will serve this fast-growing customer demand and help them unlock a £315m value opportunity in the lager category[1]. With its strong reputation for innovation and the highest equity scores among younger consumers[2], Heineken® Silver is the brand to help realise this valuable market opportunity.

Alexander Wilson, Category & Commercial Strategy Director – Off Trade, HEINEKEN UK, said:

“Our research shows growing popularity for premium and lighter style drinks, particularly among Gen Y and Gen Z drinkers who are looking for better quality beverages while also moderating their alcohol intake. As lager under-indexes with Gen Y and Gen Z drinkers, the opportunity is to add lager to their shopping baskets. Heineken® Silver offers these drinkers a more inclusive and accessible taste that also meets their needs for a more refreshing lager, opening up new opportunities to drive incremental sales for retailers.”

Heineken® Silver has been brewed with craftmanship to have star quality, natural ingredients, Heineken®’s famous A-yeast and pure malt, as well as sourcing sustainably farmed barley where possible that supports HEINEKEN’s wider commitments to Brew a Better World.

HEINEKEN added significant value within the alcohol-free lager market with the launch of Heineken® 0.0, further establishing brand equity among younger consumers[3]. Bram Westenbrink, Global Heineken® Brand Director, HEINEKEN, said: “The history of Heineken® is a history of brewing excellence and innovation. As a brand, we work hard to keep a finger on the pulse of consumers’ changing preferences. That’s what inspired us to launch Heineken® 0.0 a few years ago, addressing skyrocketing demand for non-alcoholic alternatives. Heineken® Silver represents our next step on that journey, as we provide a more subtle, refreshing beer for a new generation of drinkers.”

An additional one million HLS sales opportunity has been identified by HEINEKEN for the wider launch of Heineken® Silver, which will be made available in 14 countries this year including the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

HEINEKEN will support the launch of Heineken® Silver with a record £20M campaign across on-trade and off-trade that will build affinity for the brand among Gen Y and Gen Z consumers. This will feature a disruptive launch plan to inspire a new generation of Heineken fans. More details on this campaign will be made available on 17th March.

Heineken® Silver will be available across UK grocery, convenience, and wholesale from 21st March in 4x330ml bottles (RRP £4.50), 12x330ml bottles (RRP £12.00) and 6x330ml slim-line cans (RRP £5.50). The range will feature a premium and modern packaging design, with messaging that promotes Heineken® Silver’s extra refreshing taste credentials to shoppers.

[1] Kantar Alcovision 52w/e 31/12/21 and Nielsen Scantrack 52w/e 01/01/22

[2] BGS brand power scores September 2021

[3] BGS brand power scores September 2021

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