Drink better: Raising a glass with Heineken

Koos Vrijlandt discusses the organisation’s place onboard cruise ships and ferries
Drink better: Raising a glass with Heineken
Heineken is tailoring its portfolio to suit the clientele of each of its cruise and ferry partners

By Koos Vrijlandt |

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Heineken Global Duty Free has seen increasing success within the shipping industry over 2018 and 2019. While over half of the business is driven by its flagship brand, Heineken, the company is also seeing an uptake in its international beer and ciders portfolio. Consumers are increasingly choosing to ‘drink better’ and this is opening up a whole new revenue stream for us. It is driven by the demand for the premium brands available in our portfolio.

Beer and cider consumers are notoriously very loyal to their favourite brands, but when they travel, they want to branch out a little and try some new, perhaps more local, beverages. Heineken Global Duty Free is meeting the needs of customers with this explorative mindset via our vast range of regionally relevant brands. For example, Birra Moretti’s long-standing Italian heritage entices the European traveller, Red Stripe’s Jamaican history is right at home in the hand of a tourist on the island’s beautiful sandy beaches and Tiger is the go-to for globetrotters visiting Asia. Our other beverages include Kalik, Orchard Thieves, Strongbow, Lagunitas, Desperados, Amstel and Cruzcampo.

With the constant growth in world tourism, and the development of new retail spaces and ongoing ‘premiumisation’ onboard cruise ships and ferries, the future is looking very bright for our shipping business. Over 75% of the world’s cruise passengers are from the US and Europe, and our brands are extremely well known and loved within these markets.

We have also seen that European travellers are showing more interest in non-alcoholic beers and cocktails; a sector which represents a significant growth opportunity for suppliers like us and passenger shipping operators. We feel confident in our success in this arena with our hero product Heineken 0.0, and we will be expanding our offerings in this area in the near future.

Scandinavian ferry fleets have also been growing in recent years; a trend that we anticipate will continue. Onboard these vessels, beer is still one of the most popular drinks of choice. As such, we will be continuing our joint business development with Finnish firm Viking Lines, as well as pursuing new paths with Norwegian company Color Line very soon.

We are tailoring our portfolio to suit the clientele of each of our cruise and ferry partners to ensure they can find their favourite home brands, and explore tastes from further afield with our award-winning ciders and beers for all occasions.

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