Saturday 19 October 2019

Electric Picnic: Mixed reviews as Heineken pitch first non-alcoholic tent

Heineken is trying to rewrite the festival stereotype as they roll out their Zero branding and their first non-alcohol tent at Electric Picnic.
Heineken is trying to rewrite the festival stereotype as they roll out their Zero branding and their first non-alcohol tent at Electric Picnic.

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

Dodgy tents, muddy shoes, music and… beer.

The combination is synonymous with music festivals, but Heineken is trying to rewrite the stereotype as they roll out their Zero branding and their first non-alcohol tent at Electric Picnic.

Festival-goers were split in their evaluation of the alcohol-free beer, despite it being €2.50 cheaper than the alcoholic variety and only 69 calories for a 330ml bottle.

Ben Egan from Co Wexford said that he’s here for the whole weekend and after 48 cans of beer he brought with him, the only beer he buys will be the alcoholic variety.

“I’d say the lads that thought of that are some craic at a party,” he said.

“They’re no craic at a festival anyway I can tell you that much. Why would I come to a festival and drink non-alcoholic beer?"

Dara Woodlock from Loughrea in Co Galway said that she won’t be drinking alcohol after 12pm, at which point she would be delighted with a non-alcoholic beer.

“We’re volunteers for ChildLine so we’re not allowed to have alcohol after midnight,” she said.

“So, absolutely we can drink Zero and it taste the same. It’s nice, I like it.

“You don’t need drink because you’re buzzing on the atmosphere, it’s cool. “

Jerimiah Coyle, from the US, added that he thinks, as a designated driver, that a zero-alcohol option is a “great idea” at a festival.

“I won’t be drinking, I’m the designated driver. I might drink it. I think it’s a great idea,” he said.

Ian Mangan from Malahide in Co Dublin said that respects anyone who can stay away from alcohol for a weekend at a festival but that he will stick to the beer he brought in him.

“No I’ll be on the full whack. I’m here to enjoy it so to be honest the thought of it doesn’t really appeal to me but each to their own I suppose.

“I won’t be buying pints anyway, I’ve a tent-full of beer. You’d be a better man than me to drink 0pc all weekend.”

Heineken launched its 0.0pc larger for Irish customers in 2017. Strong demand for the non-alcoholic beer helped Heineken notch up the best sales growth for its flagship lager in over a decade this year.

The world’s second largest brewer said sales of its leading brand rose 7.7pc by volume in 2018, helped by the growing success of Heineken 0.0 as it rolled out the zero-alcohol tipple to 38 markets worldwide.

Erin McCloud, manager at the Heinken Zero tent at Electric Picnic said that she can see the product being very popular with attendees at the festival. The idea of the Zero branding, he said, is to encourage people to drink less.

“This is the first time I’ve ever worked on a Heineken Zero tent,” she said,

“I think it will perhaps appeal to a younger crowd and perhaps a much older crowd. I think the in-between will stick to the alcoholic beverages.

“I think the older crowd, it will appeal to them. Hopefully it will appeal to people to drink less anyway. It 100pc encourages people to drink less but it also encourages a more family orientated Electric Picnic. So, people can bring their kids to the festivals.

“It also means that people who like the taste of alcohol or maybe people that feel like they need to fit in but don’t like what alcohol does to them can drink Heineken Zero and still enjoy it.”

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