Heineken revealed The Green Paper, which details the results of its "most extensive" piece of category research to date and its new strategy to grow the on-trade by £1bn.

 

"For the on-trade this is about driving more people into pubs, getting them to spend more and do it more often," said Jerry Shedden, category and trade marketing director at the company.

Having its own pub estate means Heineken is in a unique position to find out what works and doesn't work in different types of pubs and gives the team the insight to help grow businesses and the industry as a whole, Jerry (pictured below) explained.

 

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The strategy is based on six key growth drivers:

 

1. Let's Get Together – Incremental Value £249M

What?
Licensees should be captalising on existing events and creating new occasions throughout the year to drive footfall and maximise sales.

Why?
There is more competition for consumers' hard earned cash, so the number of visits to the on-trade has fallen by 10% over the past five years (Kantar Worldpanel)

How?
Create occasions that give people a reason to visit rather than stay at home. Whether that be driving footfall by generating a fantastic atmosphere around a football match, hosting a pub quiz or simply prompting friends to meet for a drink.

 

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2. Maximise The Core - Incremental Value £225M

What?
Drinkers will stay longer, spend more and visit more regularly if licensees give them everything they expect from their favourite bar or restaurant, topped off with a great atmosphere.

Why?
Consumers are leading more flexible lifestyles with remote working, part-time hours and staycations. By maximising the occasions for which a pub or bar can be used throughout the day, licensees can also maximise revenues. The ambience of the pub is the second most important reason for consumers choosing an outlet, so this cannot be overlooked. Consumers will order a second pint of cider or beer based on the quality of the first so maintaining and pouring consistent quality drinks is also key.

How?
Enhancing kerb appeal can remove any potential barriers or increase footfall into outlets. Providing free WiFi or different food offerings throughout the day can widen trading hours and bring in new consumers for new occasions. Communicating these offerings through outdoor signage or advertising this online are the simplest ways to maximise footfall. Maintaining and pouring consistent, quality cider and beer will also drive repeat custom.

 

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3. Great With Food - Incremental Value £189M

What?
Food is a great way to entice consumers into the on-trade, so licensees should maximise their consumer spend by pairing food with their range of ciders and beers, to drive more money through the tills.

Why?
Food is present at a third of all drinking occasions and this is growing. By using drinks and food together, this can deliver more value to the consumer whilst driving both footfall and repeat business.

How?
A simple burger and a pint style promotion will increase footfall, or presenting a more formal food and drink matched menu will increase spend in higher end outlets.

 

4. Live Better - Incremental Value £174M

What?
People are trying to lead healthier and more sustainable lifestyles, whether by watching what they eat, moderating their alcohol intake or engaging with brands that represent their views.

Why?
Half of people want to make healthier lifestyle choices – whether that be abstaining from alcohol of which over 1m more people have chosen to do in the last four years, or actively choosing sustainably sourced products or preferring organic produce.

How?
By having a range of healthier options such as no and low alcohol alternatives, or having natural and sustainably produced ciders and beers means that licensees can remove the barrier of consumers feeling that a trip to the pub or bar is not in line with their lifestyle.

 

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5. My Generation - Incremental Value £108M

What?
The 18-24 year old generation of beer and cider drinkers have a lot more choice than previous generations and are yet to find their favourite drink, bar or pub, so licensees should shout about why their outlet is relevant for them to visit with friends.

Why?
On-trade visits by 18-24 year olds is falling year-on-year, with the number of times per week they go out for a drink falling by 20%, over the last decade (Kantar Alcovision).

How?
By having the right range of products - a balance between well-known brands available at reasonable prices as well as more unique choices - you can reconnect with 18-24 year old consumers and ensure that there is something for everyone. Speaking the right language in terms of marketing and utilising digital, whilst being flexible to consumer needs, will also drive future footfall.

 

6. We're Worth It - Incremental Value £72M

What?
One of the easiest ways to increase how much consumers spend is by encouraging them to try a more premium beer or cider at the bar.

Why?
The average price of a pint of beer in the on-trade has risen by 42p over the last four years. Although the number of occasions in the on-trade has declined, consumers are treating themselves when they do go out and are choosing more premium drinks (CGA, Jan 2018)

It is still key to have a mainstream beer and cider offering as two in every five pints of draught beer is Foster's, John Smith's, Guinness, Carling or Carlsberg. However, licensees should try and premiumise at every opportunity. This can be done by offering a range of mainstream and premium drinks at the right price points.

How?
Use every tool at an outlet's disposal, to drive consideration of more premium choices – standalone founts, point of sale and back bar displays as well as giving the best spots in the fridge and on the bar to the more premium options. Similarly, writing tasting notes for your craft range can drive interest and create plenty of trade up opportunities.

 

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"Months of research have been condensed into an easy to understand category strategy that will grow our customers' businesses," said Jerry.

"The six growth drivers are the starting point for all Heineken on-trade activations, so with the power of the best portfolio of ciders and beers, and our industry-leading expertise, we will be helping to bring the on trade back into growth."