Heineken is trialling hard seltzers

Dutch group Heineken has become the latest multinational brewer to start selling hard seltzers, and is trialling a new range in select retailers in New Zealand and Mexico.

Called Pure Piraña, it will be available in nine flavours, made will “all-natural” flavourings and containing fewer than 100 calories per 330ml can. It will launch with Grapefruit, Peach and Red Fruit flavours in Mexico, and in Raspberry and Lime in New Zealand

The trial comes after a handful of brewing giants have already turned their attention to hard seltzers amid a shift in consumer demand away from mainstream lagers and towards lower calorie, lighter-tasting alcoholic beverages. AB InBev, Carlsberg, Constellation Brands and Molson Coors have all launched or tested hard seltzer products within the past year, and even craft beer maker Brewdog created its own brand, called Clean & Press, last summer.

Long-serving Heineken chief executive Jean-François van Boxmeer retired after 15 years at the helm on 1 June, and was swiftly replaced with 47-year-old Dolf van den Brink. On announcing his departure, Boxmeer called his successor as “a better version of me. He’s a modern, engaging person.”

Jan Derck van Karnebeek, Chief Commercial Officer at HEINEKEN said: “We are seeing more and more people look for a low-calorie alcoholic alternative and the result is the rapid growth of the Hard Seltzer category. The launch of Pure Piraña offers a way for us to meet customers’ evolving needs and explore a new growth opportunity for our business.”

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