By THE NATION
Much has been written in recent weeks about whether non-alcoholic beer should in fact be called beer.
Heineken, however, is set to set the market straight with the launch of its Heineken 0.0 beverage last week in a “Heineken 0.0 Barcade” event at The EmQuartier last week.
Heineken 0.0 is a non-alcoholic malt drink, not beer.
“Heineken 0.0 is a non-alcoholic malt beverage, brewed using a unique recipe that offers a distinct and balanced taste, which you can now enjoy at any time. It was brewed to provide our consumers with a new option for all their drinking occasions, addresses the growing cultural trend of living a balanced lifestyle, and empowers people who can’t drink alcohol to be involved in every non-beer moment,” explained Maud Meijboom-van Wel, brand development and communication director of Heineken Asia Pacific.
“In addition to positioning the Heineken brand as a pioneer in the industry, we continue to introduce new and innovative products to meet the needs of consumers and to complement our existing offerings, without compromising on quality.”
“Heineken 0.0 is not about being a replacement, but about being complementary.” – Ee Lin Loh, centre.
Heineken 0.0 was first launched in 2017 in the Netherlands, Spain and Germany, followed by the UK and France. It is now available in 38 markets around the world, including Europe, North America, and Australia. In Asia, Thailand is the second country to introduce it after Singapore.
Setthasitt “Jdai” Limkasided and Marco Maurer at “Shadow Yoga.”
“Heineken 0.0 has a perfectly balanced taste with refreshingly fruity notes and a soft malty body. Simply removing alcohol from original Heineken would have been easy, but it wouldn’t have delivered the best tasting non-alcoholic malt beverage. We wanted to push the boundaries, so we gave our master brewers a blank slate and challenged them to brew a perfectly balanced non-alcoholic malt beverage from scratch, using only natural ingredients and a special process to protect the natural flavour. Heineken 0.0 does exactly that, and is double brewed with 100-per-cent natural ingredients, no added sugar and only 69 calories per serving. We gently remove the alcohol through vacuum distillation and blend the brew to perfection,” van Wel added.
Kanticha “Ticha” Chumma plays at “Shut the Call Up”.
Several celebrities turned out for the event, among them Setthasitt “Jdai” Limkasided, Marco Maurer, Benja Bencharongkul, Sireeporn “Aerin” Yoogthatat, Gavin Duval, Jongbae Park, Chanin Taeratanachai, Sarucha “YingYing” Petchroj, Kanticha “Ticha” Chumma, Disaya “Tiew” Korgotchamas, Jamaporn “Tookta” Sangthong, Tulyatep Ueawittaya, Pemika “TubTim” Jiranorraphat, Thanik Puvanattrai, Pitt Karchai, Jarudech “Ford” Boonyasit, Fasai Puengudom and Virithipa “Woonsen” Pakdeeprasong. Some of them even took part in four interactive games to test the 0.0 effect after sampling.
Pemika “TubTim” Jiranorraphat tries out the “Messy Kitchen.”
“Shut the Call Up” tested speed and accuracy by recreating the situation in the office when you have to cope with multiple phone calls coming in all at once. “Traffic Dance” testing how quickly you can move to the music when the traffic lights change colour.
“Shadow Yoga” tested body balance and accuracy by seeing how well you can maintain flexible yoga positions through a more fun and interactive twist, while “Messy Kitchen” tested cleaning skills by duplicating the chaos when dealing with various items dropped on the LED floor.
Benja Bencharongkul and Sireeporn “Aerin” Yoogthatat
“We see Heineken 0.0 as an important addition that strengthens the innovative position of Heineken, so selling this new non-alcoholic malt beverage is not about it being a replacement, but about it being complementary. Heineken 0.0 is a new category – a zero-alcohol beverage – with which Thais may not be familiar with, as the market for malt drinks is currently very niche. However, we have seen an upward trend in moderate alcohol consumption. We also want to show the importance of staying in control while having fun, and want to encourage beer lovers and drinkers to think about their own behaviour when it comes to drinking alcohol during a night out. We have introduced a non-alcoholic beverage to illustrate that moderation is cool,” said Ee Lin Loh, marketing director of TAP Group.
“And please call it Heineken 0.0, or a malt drink, not beer!”