Heineken's Greenpaper initiative on track to deliver ahead of schedule

Heineken UK believes more than half of the £670 million off-trade opportunity for beer has been delivered in year one of its three-year plan.

The opportunity was identified by Heineken in its Greenpaper initiative earlier this year with a strategy designed to help retailers unlock £670 million in additional sales over a three-year period, by focusing on six areas. These include focusing on seasonal events, premium and healthier options, core ranging, younger shoppers and meal pairings.

Toby Lancaster, category and shopper marketing director, said: “We think we have delivered £355 million of the £670 million opportunity in the first year of the three-year plan. We knew the first year would be the biggest due to the World Cup but the good weather meant people were flooding into stores as well.

“We still have a job to do in our channel, particularly with one of the six drivers – beer and cider with food – we think there is a really good opportunity to pair brands such as Birra Moretti with food and it’s an area we will look at more next year, along with a continued focus on the lower alcohol segment, with brands such as Heineken 0.0.”

So far this year the company has identified growth of £355 million, driven by sports, which delivered £125 million. The area it calls ‘We are worth it’, which focuses on premium brands, delivered £148 million and ‘Live better’, which includes lower alcohol brands, delivered an additional £13 million over the year.

The beer producer said 2018 was a year full of surprises, starting with a very slow start to the year with the ‘Beast from the East’ affecting sales directly after Dry January. In March the Tesco-Booker merger went live and this also had an effect on the market, and the C02 crisis also created challenges, particularly as this coincided with increased demand due to England’s successful run during the World Cup and also because of an unexpected period of good weather between May and September.

Lancaster added: “It’s safe to say it has been an unprecedented year but overall we are in pretty good shape.”

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