Heineken launches new light lager backed by £20m marketing spend

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

New brew: Heineken Silver will be available to the UK on-trade from 5 April
New brew: Heineken Silver will be available to the UK on-trade from 5 April

Related tags Heineken Lager Beer Brewing

Brewer Heineken UK has unveiled its latest new product – Heineken Silver, aimed at a younger drinker demographic.

The 4% ABV brew will be available to the on-trade on draught and in 330ml bottles from 4 April.

The £20m marketing spend, which is understood to be the biggest promotional investment Heineken has made, and includes TV advertising, social media promotion, in-outlet visibility, mass sampling and exposure at major sporting events.

Heineken is aiming to get the product into thousands of pubs over the course of 2022 from when it is launched in the on-trade next month.

Quick start

Speaking to The Morning Advertiser​, Heineken beer brand unit director Matt Saltzstein said: “We want to get off to quick start and we'd probably think about that in two ways.

“We want to get into 3,000 or 4,000 pubs this year so it's a really, really big scale and as part of that, we'll also be partnering with our Star Pubs & Bars business, too.

“Ultimately, we just want to have to fast start, you'll see a sort of big kind of focus period coming up here. And it'll be available for the beginning of April for the on-trade and that's when you really start to see it ramp up.”

Heineken cited CGA data, which found although the light lager category has showed 40% market share growth in the past five years, it has not premiumised at the same rate as other beer categories.

It went on to reference information also from CGA that more than two thirds of stockists serve light lager at 10p more per pint than the cheapest lager on the bar.

Real opportunity

Heineken claimed its new Silver taps into the growing demand for light lager alongside the premiumisation trend, meaning operators have the chance to trade customers p to a new price point worth more than £100m to the market.

On-trade director Stephen Watt said premiumisation was one of the most powerful drivers of market growth.

He added: “With more and more consumers – particularly Generation Z and Y drinkers – looking to drink less but better quality beverages, Heineken Silver presents a real opportunity for our customers.

“In fact, Heineken Silver has the potential to add significant growth to the category and bolster light lager’s total on-trade market value.”

Watt added the introduction of the new beer is set to be a hit with 18 to 34-year-olds as referenced consumer product testing in selected European markets that found 95% of younger consumers said Heineken Silver was ‘truly refreshing’ and something they would buy. 

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