Brewer’s new Silver lining

Heineken launches lager aimed at ‘light beer’ market

HEINEKEN is looking to tap into a growing demand for lighter beers with the launch of Heineken Silver.

The new, 4% ABV lager launches this month in 33cl bottles and on draught, backed by a £20 million marketing campaign which includes point of sale materials, branded glassware and a custom font.

Heineken said the new lager has been brewed at -1°C in order to create a “lighter drinking profile”.

The brewer has predicted growth at the premium end of light beer, stating that £100m could be added to the category if bar and pub operators can trade their customers up to products with a higher price point.

The overall light beer section of the market has grown its market share by 40% in the past five years, according to Heineken.

“Premiumisation is one of the most powerful drivers of market growth,” said Heineken UK’s on-trade director, Stephen Watt.

“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.”

The launch of the new beer follows the introduction of the non-alcoholic Heineken 0.0, which Watt said had proven popular with the 18 to 34 age group.

“Heineken, which added significant value by reinvigorating the alcohol-free lager category with the launch of Heineken 0.0, already has an established brand equity with younger consumers and over indexes in group social occasions,” he said.

“We are confident the introduction of a premium, more refreshing beer, brewed with famous Heineken A-yeast and pure malt is sure to be a real hit with 18 to 34 year olds.

“In fact, 95% of younger consumers asked said Heineken Silver was ’truly refreshing’ and something they would buy.”