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HEINEKEN has unveiled The Greenpaper – its new category strategy, offering retailers solutions to grow their businesses and accelerate growth in the beer and cider category. Built from over 100 pieces of qualitative and quantitative research, The Greenpaper is the biggest piece of category research ever undertaken by HEINEKEN UK with its research and agency partners. This bespoke consumer, shopper, customer and channel specific insight has been instrumental in identifying an incremental £670m in value for the Off Trade over the next three years.


In recent years, beer and cider volume has been broadly flat in the off trade, with mainstream beer and cider being one of the most heavily promoted categories, thus restraining the potential for category premiumisation. As market leader in the beer and cider industry, HEINEKEN UK is committed to creating a sustainable, value focussed beer and cider category with retailers. Through the launch of The Greenpaper, HEINEKEN UK aims to encourage a greater focus on value creation, to re-build the health of this great category.


Toby Lancaster, Category and Shopper Marketing Director at HEINEKEN UK, commented: “At HEINEKEN, we are committed to helping our customers grow their businesses. The launch of The Greenpaper is an important step in this mission, offering actionable advice to retailers on how to maximise their sales, and in doing so, strengthen the beer and cider category as a whole.”


The research has uncovered six main areas of opportunity in which HEINEKEN can work with customers to grow their businesses and the category as a whole. Each of these six opportunities are summarised below;

  • Sports and Seasons – With 52%[1] of beer and cider value sales being sold over key seasonal periods, retailers should maximise sales by capitalising on year-round events by reminding shoppers to enjoy sporting occasions, celebrate summer events and create an occasion of other seasonal or sporting events.
  • We’re Worth It – Give customers a reason to choose a more premium beer or cider by keeping a well-stocked fridge with different price options, or catching a shopper’s eye by displaying more premium and gifting products in unexpected places. Today’s consumers love to try something new.
  • Live Better – 40%[2] of consumers limit processed foods and 34%[3] limit calories, thus highlighting the positive choices that shoppers are looking to make. The beer and cider no, low and gluten free alcohol segment has, in fact, grown by +18%[4] in value (YTD). Retailers should respond to this desire for a healthy lifestyle by stocking a range of alcohol free options, as well as considering beers and ciders that meet a specific dietary need.
  • Maximise the Core – Mainstream beer and cider accounts for 75%[5] of the category, so ensuring that the basics are right is key to improving the shopper’s in-store experience, thus driving sales. Retailers should ensure products are available in a pack size that satisfies the right occasion, as well as including value added benefits such as on-pack offers.


  •  My Generation – The 18-24 year old generation of beer and cider drinkers are a social bunch. Retailers need to attract this audience into the category by speaking their language in-store and on social media as well as offering a product choice that suits their occasions.
  • Great with Food The number of occasions where people are consuming alcohol with a meal has increased by over 5%[6] in the past four years. Beer and cider is a great fit with meals, with 43%[7] of large single bottles being purchased as an accompaniment to food. Make the most of this natural pairing of food with beer and cider by implementing cross category merchandising. Positioning food such as pizza, or BBQ items alongside beer and cider in-store and online will guarantee an uplift in sales as shoppers make a natural link between the two categories.



These everyday changes, make up part of The Greenpaper, guaranteeing an uplift in sales, as well as strengthening the beer and cider category.


To hear more about The Greenpaper and how it can help your business, please contact the HEINEKEN team.



[1]Nielsen Scantrack Total Off Trade

[2] Nielsen Homescan Survey, Nielsen ScanTrack data WE 03.12.16

[3]Nielsen Homescan Survey, Nielsen ScanTrack data WE 03.12.16

[4]ACNielsen YTD Value Sales data WE 24.02.2018

[5]ACNielsen 52 Week Rolling MAT Value Sales


[6]InSites Consulting/HEINEKEN Category Image Study 2017

[7]InSites Consulting/HEINEKEN Category Image Study 2017


Author: kimbarnard

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