Heineken debuts zero alcohol beverage in Malaysia

Heineken Malaysia has unveiled its non-alcoholic malt beverage called Heineken 0.0, in a bid to provide consumers a wider choice for drinking occasions. Heineken 0.0 made its debut in Asia in 2018, launching in Singapore, followed by Thailand earlier this year.

It is now available in 39 countries worldwide, including Europe, North America, and Australia. The brand’s iconic green label has also been turned blue, a colour that is associated with the non-alcoholic category. The international beer brand said in a media release that it sees a growing cultural trend around moderate alcohol consumption and living a more balanced lifestyle.

Supporting the launch of Heineken 0.0 was a global campaign titled #NowYouCan. Led by a series of light-hearted TVCs, the campaign showcases the new occasions and moments – in the boardroom, at lunch, after a workout or acting as the designated driver – that Heineken 0.0 fits into everyday lives.

In a statement to A+M, Heineken’s spokesperson said the launch will be supported by a full scale marketing campaign across all channels including print, digital, relevant events and sampling. All these tie back to the four key occasions identified for Heineken 0.0.

The spokesperson added that Heineken 0.0 is targeted at non-Muslims strictly aged 21 and above. “This product is aimed to provide an alternative option to our existing consumers at times when they want a beer but not necessarily the effects of alcohol.  It expands the occasions in which they can now enjoy a Heineken,” she added.

Heineken 0.0 will be available across Malaysia in bars, restaurants and stores as well as on Heineken’s eCommerce site, Drinkies.

Pablo Chabot, marketing director of Heineken Malaysia said Heineken 0.0 is an important addition to the portfolio as it further strengthens the innovativeness of the brand. He also added that this also opens up a new category in Malaysia that the brand aims to lead and build.

“Our consumers are at the heart of everything that we do, and based on local and global research, we see an upward trend in moderate alcohol consumption and for living a more balanced lifestyle. With that, we’re introducing Heineken® 0.0 to give our consumers a new option so that they can stay in control while having fun,” Chabot said.

“Removing alcohol from Heineken® Original would have been easy, but it wouldn’t deliver the best tasting non-alcoholic malt beverage. Heineken® 0.0 is brewed from scratch and has a perfectly balanced taste with refreshing fruity notes and a soft malty body,” Willem van Waesberghe, global craft and brew master at Heineken, said.

Meanwhile, two months ago Heineken Malaysia posted a 21% increase in group revenue from RM434 million last year to RM525 million for its first quarter ended 31 March 2019 (Q1 2019). According to its financials, the increase was mainly driven by higher sales volume from the effective execution of commercial campaigns during Chinese New Year this year, such as Tiger Beer’s Uncage New Beginnings campaign, nationwide activations of Guinness’ St. Patrick’s Festival and Heineken’s Live Your Music campaign.

Managing director Roland Bala said the company will leverage on the “solid growth” in the first quarter to continue sharpening its focus on executing the right strategies to drive value creation for its stakeholders towards delivering a satisfactory performance for 2019, whilst being cautious of softening consumer sentiment and competition that is expected to intensify.