Heineken says no to revival of cold play

Heineken has

dismissed suggestions it is considering reviving its standard lager format following a series of sub-premium brand extensions from rivals.

Heineken controversially axed its Cold Filtered variant in 2003, arguing that the 3.4% abv brand was an unnecessary distraction in a market where growth was being driven by premium lagers. The move disappointed some retailers, particularly independents, and surprised the trade as Cold Filtered was a top 10 brand.

In recent times, Stella Artois, Beck's and Grolsch have all launched more sessionable alternatives to their main products, while Carlsberg and Foster's have always given consumers the choice of standard and export strength.

But a Heineken spokeswoman denied Cold Filtered was being lined up for a revival. "At this stage focus is on building on the distribution of Heineken's existing products, including its Draughtkeg innovation for the off-trade," she said.