Heineken is planning a major re-launch in the UK with the aim of establishing a new and higher strength version of its main lager brand. Heineken, which was originally launched in the UK in 1951, is marketed in Britain in a 3.4% abv version. The Dutch brewer is now planning to re-launch its core brand at 5% abv.

The outgoing Heineken chairman, Karel Vuursteen, said that some details of the re-launch would be available later in the year but that the change itself was unlikely to take place in 2002. The company has not yet decided if the 5% abv "real" Heineken will be brewed under licence in the UK or exported from the Netherlands.