Heineken targets youth with tequila-flavoured beer

KENYA – The Dutch brewer on Thursday night launched Desperados, the second alcoholic product it will be marketing since it started importing Heineken from the Netherlands in 2011.

Nakumatt Holdings, the brand’s exclusive retailer, will be selling the drink at a recommended retail price of Sh170.

Desperados, with an alcohol content of 5.9 per cent, is available in 330ml bottles and will initially retail in Nairobi in select bars like Galileo Lounge, K1 Klubhouse and Tribeka before expanding into the country and region.

Global beer maker Heineken has introduced a tequila-flavoured beer into the Kenyan market, seeking to pull youthful consumers away from regular-tasting brands.

The Dutch brewer on Thursday night launched Desperados, the second alcoholic product it will be marketing since it started importing Heineken from the Netherlands in 2011.

Desperados, with an alcohol content of 5.9 per cent, is available in 330ml bottles and will initially retail in Nairobi in select bars like Galileo Lounge, K1 Klubhouse and Tribeka before expanding into the country and region.

“This is a unique product that will help to further expand the beer category as it is at the boundary between the beer and spirit territories,” said Uche Unigwe, Heineken’s general manager for East Africa.

Nakumatt Holdings, the brand’s exclusive retailer, will be selling the drink at a recommended retail price of Sh170.

Mr Unigwe is launching the new product just a month after he was appointed the regional managing director, replacing Koen Morshuis who in 2012 set up the brewer’s regional headquarters in Nairobi.

The new MD was previously the country manager for Heineken Tanzania.  

“The launch of Desperados in Kenya marks another milestone for us in this market as we seek to tap the opportunities we see for alternatives to plain lagers and spirits,” said Mr Unigwe.

Desperado beer was first launched in France in 1995.

Kenya is the 12th African country where it is being made available.

Heineken’s attempt to carve out a new niche market for itself locally will see it compete with UK-brewer Global Brands that sells its own tequila-flavoured beer – Amigos.

Amigos has a 4.6 per cent alcohol content and is packaged in a 330ml bottle.

Heineken supplies the Kenyan market through local distributor Maxam Ltd, associated with businessman Ngugi Kiuna who has held the franchise since 2007.

Desperado’s introduction is the latest attempt to excite a market that has since 2012 cooled off after beer wars between East African Breweries Limited and London-listed SABMiller subsided.

“Kenyan consumers are energetic and always looking for the best, most unexpected parties,” said Mr Unigwe.

“Desperados offers them not only a unique taste experience, but also a brand that understands their party lifestyle like no other.”

July 31, 2014; http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate-News/Heineken-targets-youth-with-tequila–flavoured-beer/-/539550/2404624/-/1jb2dp/-/index.html

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