With the sunny backdrop of Barcelona, Verge CEO Andre Dixon spoke to Heineken’s Corporate Relations Manager John Paul Schurink about how non-alcoholic beer is the new cool.
Q: What is it about Heineken 0.0 that would appeal to students across the globe?
A: In general, there are health and wellness trends going on, and thats for young, old, male and female; everyone bodies into that. Millennials are also included in that, there’s a time to party and there’s also a time for moderation and we think that’s great. Heineken has always been behind that, one of our goals has always been to make moderation cool. It used to be that non-alcoholic drinks were not cool and we took it upon ourselves to make non-alcoholic beer cool and the Heineken brand lands itself to that. For everybody there may be situations where you say I really fancy a beer but I don’t fancy alcohol right now because you have a big test or a big exam the following day, or you’ve got to work out later on and that’s were Heineken 0.0 fits in.
Q: Do you think that Heineken is going to change the way that people drink and the drinking culture?
A: We hope so. We hope that, as we are a global brand, we can play a role in that. You’ve probably seen the ‘When you drink never drive’ campaign, which is an example of how we try to make not drinking when you’re driving cool. It’s not a negative choice, it’s a positive choice. We had the campaign have a designated driver, and maybe 30 years ago you was the looser of the gang if you were that, but now actually you’re the cool guy because you’re taking care of your friends and getting them home safely. The times have changed and Heineken is part of that. It’s an important thing and it fits who we are, it fits our mantra of helping the world and this new beer is open to all.
Q: Is the focus of Heineken’s 0.0 safety and health?
A: It’s moderation. We’d rather have ten people drinking one or two beers than one person drinking ten beers. We’ve been around for around 150 years and we want to be around for at least another 150 years; so if times are changing you don’t go with it, you try to drive that change. If you have a very nice beer like we have that also fits that trend then you’re well on your way.
Q: Could you sum up in three words what’s great about the beer for students?
A: First of all the taste, because it all starts with the taste. It’s a good alternative for if you do not want to drink alcohol, and thirdly we’re a cool brand. We’re a brand that you like to be seen with.