Hoegaarden, pioneer in the low-alcohol and alcohol-free segment
On the Belgian market, Hoegaarden is, in terms of taste, the best suitable brand for developing low-alcohol and alcohol free varieties. So AB InBev invests strongly in this flagship. Today people choose their moments to taste beer. A good glass of beer at home may contain some more alcohol. But for the necessary refreshment after exercising or shopping, people prefer low-alcohol or alcohol-free beer. Also when they get together with friends on a terrace, a glass of beer has first to taste good, and it does not necessarily has to contain alcohol. AB InBev wants to promote responsible drinking and to offer a wider choice of alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers to the consumer, in addition to the usual soft and hot drinks. Therefore, the brewer focuses on product innovations for its traditional brands.
All in the taste
'A radler is a combination of beer with fruit juices', explains Amélie Cornelis, Marketing Manager Hoegaarden. 'With its natural notes of coriander and orange, the Hoegaarden white beer is a perfect base.' Today, already more than half of Hoegaarden's total volume on the Belgian retail market includes varieties of alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers, such as a 0.0 version of the Hoegaarden Wit & Rosé.
The Hoegaarden Radlers 2.0 exist in two flavours: Lemon & Lime and Agrum (citrus). Both flavours, as well as the most recent flavour Green Tea, exist also in a 0.0 version. The consumer discovered the segment, and he likes the beers. During a test of the Dutch consumer programme Kassa, Hoegaarden Radler Lemon & Lime (2.0) was the best scoring radler on the Dutch market. The success of the Hoegaarden Radlers convinces AB InBev to invest in this growth segment. The brand is one of the spearheads of the market approach aiming at realizing a 20 % share of alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers by 2025.
As a global player, AB InBev looks past the local borders. 'If we see that a beer variety scores well in a particular market, we assess if we can launch it in other markets,' says Amélie Cornelis. 'We must of course take into account local customs and cultural traditions. So we brew a radler on the basis of Hoegaarden (white beer) in Belgium, on the basis of Franziskaner (Weißbier) in Germany and on the basis of Diekirch (lager) in Luxembourg.'