Heineken targets coffee shops with 'revolutionary' system

Heineken targets coffee shops with 'revolutionary' system

Heineken, the Dutch brewer, is targeting the coffee shop sector to roll out its Blade draught system, which offers zero alcohol beer Heineken 0.0.

Otto Esser, head of Blade, told Coffee Business World this was the “hottest innovation” at the moment and called it “revolutionary”. He said that Heineken was targeting unlicensed coffee shops with its zero alcohol Heineken 0.0.

The Blade, is a counter top draught system which was launched in 2017, and chills the beer to 2°C. Every keg has capacity for eight litres, serving 14 pints or 21 scooners, which are two-thirds of a pint.

Esser revealed that Heineken trialled the system over the summer with a number of independent coffee shops as well as licensed and unlicensed outlets.

“A really pleasant outcome of the trial is the fact that people love the idea of non-alcoholic beer on draught,” he said.

“Feedback is that people are staying in the coffee shop for longer, increasing the dwell time and the customers love the idea of being able to drink an alcohol free pint.”

He said that the brewer was now looking to partner with one of the larger coffee shop chains as well as independents.

The system also allows licensed cafes and coffee shops to offer both Birra Moretti and Heineken as well as a range of other Heineken-owned brands.

“The feedback we are getting from coffee shops is they are looking at ways to increase variety and improve the experience. If a group come, some want coffee, some want tea but offering an alcohol free pint or scooner or Birra Moretti brings in a whole new group of customers.”

Esser said that as well as targeting the coffee shop sector it was focusing on large bars that want to offer Heineken 0.0 as well as restaurants that cannot manage larger draught systems.

“The numbers say there are over 100,000 cafes in the UK.  The opportunity is massive,” he said.

Blade is available online and is also starting to sell through wholesalers. It is currently in 1,500 licensed and unlicensed outlets in the UK from restaurants, cafes to barbers.

Operators can see if the Blade would work in their premises by downloading the Place Blade app. 

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