Written by Chuck Boddy, Heineken Senior Brand Manager
Heineken® is a brand that is loved by US consumers, with high levels of brand awareness and preference versus other brands in the category. However, being a heavier style lager with a distinct bitter aftertaste, Heineken® hasn’t had the strongest appeal for everyday sessionable occasions amongst a broader consumer demographic. Within the US beer category, there is a major opportunity for Heineken® to leverage its brand power in the ‘sessionable’ segment of the category which compromises roughly 50% of the total category volume (low calorie, low carb, low bitterness), to recruit new and younger consumers into the brand.
Introducing Heineken® Silver
In March 2023, Heineken® Silver will officially launch in the US. Heineken® Silver is a great tasting, extra refreshing beer that is brewed with an ice-cold lagering process at -1° Celsius to smooth out any heaviness and bitterness. Heineken® Silver checks in at 95 calories and 3.2g carbs per 12oz serving with only 5 IBUs (int’l bitterness units) versus 19 IBUs for the Masterbrand Heineken® Original, making the beer easy to drink with an extra refreshing taste and light subtle finish.
Heineken® Silver has been developed specifically to meet the needs of the US consumer – using a different recipe than that launched in Asia and Europe. After extensive consumer testing, it was determined that a lower calorie, lower carb, and lower IBU option provided the greatest opportunity for the brand to break into the sessionable segment in the US. Heineken® Silver leverages the same brewing credentials (A-yeast, horizontal fermentation, 100% premium malt) and product profile (color, flavor, aroma) as Heineken® Original, but offers a differentiated proposition to compete within the sessionable segment of the category.
Supporting Heineken® Silver in the US
HEINEKEN USA plans to invest $100M in a US-led marketing campaign to introduce Heineken® Silver in the US market. This 360° marketing plan will include national TV, radio, social/digital, and out-of-home billboards across key markets to drive mass awareness of the launch, as well as comprehensive retail programming and sampling to drive trial and conversion at the point of sale. In addition to media and retail/sampling activation, Heineken® Silver will debut as the official beer sponsor of the brand’s top-tier national sponsorships, including Coachella and US Open, as well title sponsor of the inaugural Formula 1 race in Las Vegas in November 2023.