Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Red Stripe brewery mulls production of alcohol-free Heineken beer

Published:Wednesday | March 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson/Senior Business Reporter
Cases of Heineken beer are bing unloaded in this August 22, 2012 photo. Jamaican brewery, Red Stripe, is exploring whether to produce a non-alcoholic veric of Heineken for the loal market.

Drinks company Desnoes & Geddes Limited, which trades as Red Stripe Jamaica, is weighing plans to brew a non-alcohol version of Heineken in this market.

Heineken 0.0 would be targeted at trendsetters from both genders, within the 25-34 age range, the brewery told the Financial Gleaner on Monday, assuming positive results from its feasibility review.

The non-alcoholic beer segment reportedly continues to grow at a time when core beer markets are estimated to have shrank globally between 2010 and 2015, according to a study by research group Canadean.

Jamaica, however, does not fit into that trend, said Red Stripe, when quizzed on the report. But there are also few, if any, non-alcoholic beers distributed on a consistent basis in Jamaica.

"We are definitely considering Heineken 0.0 as a line extension. Feasibility will be conducted," said the Kingston-based brewery, which makes Heineken under licence. Red Stripe is also owned by Heineken International.

The brewery said it would determine the launch date for the product after getting the okay from its quality department.

Heineken 0.0 is at the core of Heineken International's campaign that 'when you drive, never drink', and would also align with Red Stripe Drink Responsibly campaign.

The Heineken group has launched two lower level alcoholic beverages - Heineken light and Heineken 0.0 - in global markets. The drink company's latest annual report indicates that Heineken 0.0 is available in 16 markets and is delivering ahead of expectations.

"Further roll-out is planned for 2018," it added.

However, the light version of the beer has had mixed results.

"Heineken Light grew high single digit driven by launches in Mexico, Indonesia, Poland, Greece and Switzerland and continued growth in Australia, offsetting softer volume in the US," the report said.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com