Tesco and Heineken team up to promote Drink Free Days

Alcohol Awareness Week begins today and Tesco has marked the occasion by promoting Heineken 0.0 in 450 stores across the UK.

The alcohol-free beer is featured on POS, digital ad displays and a banner on the Tesco website, alongside Drinkaware’s Drink Free Days logo, featuring the strapline: “Now You Can”.

Drinkaware launched its Drink Free Days initiative in partnership with Public Health England in September and it has led to a spike in visits to the charity’s website. More than 2 million people have visited the site since September, a 33% increase on the same period last year.

Rommel Moseley, Drinkaware director of business development and partnerships, said: “Since its launch in September, the campaign has proved popular with consumers who are interested in taking more days off from drinking as a way of reducing their health risks from alcohol.

“This partnership with one of the top beer brands in the UK, in the largest supermarket group, will help promote even greater awareness of Drink Free Days and encourage drinking in moderation ahead of the key Christmas period.”

Heineken sales director Simon Amor added: “Bringing together Heineken 0.0 and Drink Free Days creates a powerful partnership which we believe will resonate with Tesco shoppers.

“We’re providing customers with a credible alternative to an alcoholic drink, with a great-tasting beer which is brewed using only natural ingredients, so that it has become even easier to take drink free days.”

Brits spent £43 million on low and no-alcohol beer in the past year, buying the equivalent to 12.2 million pints (Nielsen, year to August 2018).

This year Heineken decided to launch the biggest advertising campaign the UK has ever seen for an alcohol-free beer. The £6 million marketing drive for Heineken 0.0 has taken in TV ads, cinema, digital and social media activations, as well as off-trade promotions, all in a bid to make the category cool.

“The campaign premise is based around the inclusiveness of Heineken 0.0 to all moments and social occasions, which might call for a great tasting beer but not for the alcohol,” said brand director Nic Casby. “As pioneering brewers, we are committed to promoting our innovative products and campaigns to meet consumer needs. We have a bold ambition and a great commitment to lead the premium non-alcoholic beer segment and build positive associations around drinking choices. In other words, we want to make alcohol free beer cool on a variety of new occasions.”

One in five British adults are now teetotal, according to the Official for National Statistics, while Nielsen data shows that the low- and no-alcohol category is in 19% growth in 2018 so far. There has never been such a high demand for great tasting, alcohol-free alternatives. Heineken launched its 0.0 variant in March 2017 and it has enjoyed phenomenal growth in since then. It has added 221,000 shoppers to the category and 47% of that is incremental, meaning those shoppers were not previously buying alcohol-free beers.

Heineken is confident that this trend will continue well into the future. “In recent years consumers have become more and more health conscious and this, combined with the demand for options that fit specific diet needs like calorie moderation and the continuing trend for younger drinkers aged 18-24 to moderate alcohol consumption, suggests continued significant growth for the alcohol free category in the coming years,” said Casby.